The British media has acted really irresponsibly in their reporting of the French Alps plane crash. As more information has become available, the stigma surrounding mental health in particular depression has been fuelled.
I feel that it is extremely unhelpful that the media think it is their role to apportion blame. It has made for uncomfortable reading. Maybe I shouldn’t have read the comments on news articles regarding this truly awful event over the past few days.
As someone who has struggled to come to terms with depression, I am incredibly reluctant to talk about it with anyone who doesn’t currently know more than ever. I dread to think what others are going through who are currently not accessing any support through their local health services. It takes a huge amount of courage to make an appointment with your GP let alone talk to them about how you are struggling. To have the added worry that you might be perceived as a danger to others is wrong. Why would someone want to admit they may have depression if they are going to be stigmatized by those around them?
Please do not mistake this as me supporting the co pilot that decided to senselessly murder 149 people. I don’t. Not one bit. I was horrified when I found out that the crash was a deliberate act. Apparently there were screams from passengers when they realised what was about to happen. I can’t even begin to imagine how the families and friends of the victims are feeling. It’s an incomprehensible tragedy.
Having depression does not make someone a thoughtless monster. I am married and I have been with my husband for nearly 10 years. I am extremely close to my family and friends. I am a personal assistant to a 12 year old boy who has autism and ADHD and have been for nearly four years. There are millions of people around the world living with depression who are from all walks of life and in a wide range of professions. Depression does not mean an intent to hurt others. If anything, I feel that those with depression are highly sensitive in regard to the people they care about. I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone including those who I no longer have in my life as a result of their horrible actions towards me. Its impact can be truly devastating and something only those who have experienced can ever fully understand. So why would I or anyone else with depression behave in a way that would knowingly cause harm to others?