Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up! See the beautiful, addicted starlet in handcuffs! Marvel at her intractable antics! Watch her in night clubs as she publicly defies court orders!
Ladies and gentlemen, Lindsay Lohan is not news. She is not entertainment. She is mentally ill. She has alcoholism. She is an addict. She is not weak-willed, oblivious or stupid . She is sick.
“When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. This, along with substance abuse are considered Substance Use Disorders….” DSM-IV
When Michael Douglas or Bret Michaels gets sick, we rush to the television’s bedside with worry and sadness. When Lindsay Lohan gets sick we gloat and get in the longest line at the grocery store so we can read the tabloids. We say a prayer for Michael and Bret and admire their battle with their illnesses. But would anyone light a candle or say a Hail Mary for Lindsey?
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that E! and the other TV tabs and talk shows give a rat’s booty about Lindsey just because they end each cheesy segment with a dose of feigned sympathy. It’s about ratings. It’s about the number of clicks a story gets on a website. The more clicks, the more salacious. The more viewers, the more coverage.
Enough already. Can we leave the woman alone? Can we, just once, look at someone in the throes of their mental illness as anything but a character in a freak show? Can we, instead, just pick up the remote and change the channel? Can we just say a prayer for the woman and move on?