Mental Health Discrimination in the Media

After reading a Time to Change article on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, I became inspired to write this post about the Sherlock Gnomes movie and their negative portrayal of mental illness and depression. This is because of a line in the script which reads ‘What are you going to do, depress me to death?’

I feel that I should use my blog to inspire other people to act on stigma which they come across. I was in two minds about posting this, as I am aware that a lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say. However, I believe that sufferers of this predominant mental health condition should not be used as a punchline and in an attempt to humour others. There is a quote which reads “speak your mind even if your voice trembles”, which I am keeping in mind as I write this post.

As a sufferer of depression and a passionate advocate for mental health, I was extremely disappointed by the ignorant use of depression to make audiences laugh. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness every year and 35 in 100 people have self-harmed, experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide in their lifetime. The topic of mental illness has been talked about more frequently in society, but there is still an extremely long way to go until the stigma is removed. There was a lack of sensitivity for depression sufferers in this movie. Depression poisons the minds of people and living can become so incredibly painful that they don’t want to be alive to see another day or week or month. That should not be a laughing matter. It is insensitive and highly triggering for those with depression.

Mental Health
The young children which this movie is targeted towards will remember the negative stereotype associated with mental health and the stigma will not change. Consequently, new generations will contribute to the stigma and lack of understanding that depression is a serious illness, not a joke. Sufferers are very, very strong people. They fight exhausting daily battles and should be applauded for tiny victories like getting out of bed in the morning or taking their medication. They should be helped with recovering, not mocked and criticised by others. Depression is extremely serious. It kills so many people and it should be treated in the same way that physical illnesses are. If you personally find depression and death humorous then you need to ask yourself why; challenging yourself and your pattern of thinking.

I have contacted the creators of Sherlock Gnomes, explaining my concerns and I am awaiting their response. The article (which I have linked above) states that stigma is reduced by sharing examples of discrimination and making companies and authorities aware that it is not acceptable. Therefore I would appreciate my readers also sharing their experiences and sharing this post so that it is taken seriously by the producers and a change can take place. Individuals deserve to live in a world that doesn’t make them feel that their life is unworthy. They deserve to recover from mental illness.

Love Casey x

Below are links to websites that can support you if you are suffering from mental illness.

Samaritans
116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
jo@samaritans.org
https://www.samaritans.org/

Mind
0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)
info@mind.org.uk
https://www.mind.org.uk/

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58 Comments

  1. Jade Millard
    June 2, 2018 / 10:52 am

    I really respect you for taking the time to write this post, Case. I know how much you struggle on a daily basis and I fully empathise with the fact that this is an issue, which affects many across the globe. I think it is SO wrong of the producers to have allowed this line to feature in the Sherlock Gnomes film and I hope that more people read this post and support you so that a change is made and they don't believe in the ignorant stereotypes. I love you endlessly and I'm so very proud of all that you do.Jade xo | http://www.simplyjadey.co.uk

    • Casey
      June 2, 2018 / 6:56 pm

      I love you so much, thank you Jade xo

  2. The Sunday Mode
    June 2, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    I think it's brilliant that you're using your voice and calling out creators and filmmakers etc for not thinking through the effects their portrayals of mental health may have. It's something I see in so many films and television shows and it really angers me as well!Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Casey
      June 2, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      Thank you Julia!

  3. Exquisitely.Me
    June 3, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    Over the years, I became more conscious about the certain words I use – like depressed. There are people who go through depression and the word itself gets overused for the wrong reasons. I'm glad that there is a lot of awareness being spread to be on alert for those with depression and to be a bit more mindful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • Casey
      June 4, 2018 / 4:32 am

      Thank you Nancy!

  4. Sophie Wentworth
    June 3, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I totally agree with you, it shouldn't be used as a punchline at all. Especially when its something kids will see. I can't believe how high those self harm stats are! It's great that you're speaking out though! x Sophiewww.glowsteady.co.uk

    • Casey
      June 4, 2018 / 4:33 am

      Thank you very much Sophie

  5. Faisal Ali
    June 5, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    Great post and you have a valid point. I know people sometimes use mental health as humour but I think sometimes people fail to see the consequences on their actions and the knock on effect that could have on the people watching their shows. Mental health can be shown in a more trivial manner if people use it a safe humour and it isn't trivial. Wishing you the best!

    • Casey
      June 5, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      Thank you. the consequences are heart breaking and it is frustrating that people lack understanding on how their choice of words can impact other people. Thank you for commenting!

  6. Exquisitely.Me
    June 9, 2018 / 4:32 am

    Considering the recent unfortunate news the past few days, it is so important that we all advocate and be aware of mental illness. We need to continue spreading awareness and help others seek professional assistance when possible. I hope the creators of Sherlock Gnomes will respond back to you. Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • Casey
      June 9, 2018 / 5:22 pm

      Thank you very much Nancy x

  7. shevyquinn
    June 14, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    I haven't yet seen this movie, nor have my children watched it but it is concerning to me that this is how mental health is now being portrayed to children let alone its loose portrayal in movies directed at older viewers. Well done you on using your platform for good ! Hopefully they will respond to you xxShevyhttp://moonsomnia.com

    • Casey
      June 14, 2018 / 6:07 pm

      Thank you very much Shevy! xx

  8. abbie williams
    June 14, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    such an important post! I hope they respond to you and am interested to hear what they have to say! abbiejadewanders.co.uk x

    • Casey
      June 14, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you Abbie, they have responded and I will write an updated post very soon x

  9. Melanie
    June 14, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    I agree that in the media mental health is often mis-represented. Especially when depresion is effecting so many celebrities. Accurate & inspiring awareness needs to be seen more. =)

    • Casey
      June 14, 2018 / 6:09 pm

      It affects 1 in 4 people, yet it is still hugely stigmatised. It really does! Thank you for your comment x

  10. Nerds Numbers and Nonsensical Natterings
    June 14, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    Such a well written post on a really important topic, for most people things like this are easy to miss, but for those people who go through these things they notice it. Make sure you let us know if you get a reply, I hope you get an apology or an explanation. Katie xx http://www.nerdsnumbersnatterings.blogspot.co.uk

    • Casey
      June 15, 2018 / 6:49 am

      Thank you Katie. They have replied and state that they 'take discrimination seriously' and 'do not believe that to be the case in this instance'. An ignorant response but that won't stop me advocating for mental health. Thank you for your comment xx

  11. Ellie Blakeney
    June 15, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Beautifully written and expressed. I couldn't agree more with you Casey! We need to be spreading more awareness around mental health and continue helping one another seek professional support. This is definitely a message I'd love to also get across on my blog. Thank you so much for sharing!Ellie x

    • Casey
      June 15, 2018 / 10:24 am

      Thank you so much Ellie!x

  12. Asha Rose
    June 15, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    This is SO important!! Thank you for speaking out about this ❤️ Sometimes it feels like we take one step forward and get pushed five steps back, but it's so important that we make sure to keep talking to stop the stigmatize! Thanks for sharing!xo, Asha Rosewww.shoesoversanity.com

    • Casey
      June 16, 2018 / 10:16 am

      Thank you so much Asha, you're so lovely! xo

  13. Chifundo Liwewe
    June 17, 2018 / 11:16 am

    It's incredibly frustrating to live in a world where some people take mental health problems as a joke. I suffer from depression and a mood disorder and it's awful to hear people acting as if depression and other disorders aren't serious problems. People need to acknowledge that the struggles people go through aren't meant to be mocked. I love this post and I'm so incredibly grateful to have found your blog! Beyond amazing! xxxChipshttps://seventeenwishes.com

    • Casey
      June 17, 2018 / 8:31 pm

      It really is, they are just as serious as physical health problems. Thank you so much, that has made my day! xx

  14. Louise Curtis
    June 17, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, and helps get people talking more about mental health! X

    • Casey
      June 17, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you Louise X

  15. Jenny Hunt
    June 17, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    I loved this girl. Haven’t seen the film but it needs to change in films and real life x

    • Casey
      June 17, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you very much Jenny x

  16. Safe Haven; Anonymous Letters
    June 18, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I'm extremely proud of you for publishing this post and standing up for what you believe in. I hadn't seen the film so this is the first I've heard of this and as a depression sufferer myself, I find that line disgusting. You're absolutely right in saying that it sets the wrong examples for children and if they continue this way the stigma will never end.-Han.xo | http://www.safehavenanonymousletters.co.uk

    • Casey
      June 18, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you so much that is so kind of you! xo

  17. Evie Braithwaite
    June 20, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    This is SO important! Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It's such a shame that a stigma surrounding mental health still exists, and I can't believe this movie used this line. Hopefully there will be more education surrounding mental health which will teach younger children how serious these problems are, thank you for such a poignant post! Xx

    • Casey
      June 20, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Thank you so much Evie! I'm hopeful that in the future the stigma will be much lesser. Xx

  18. NiamhRBlogs
    July 13, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    This post is so important with regards to how the media influences younger minds, and I agree with how they need to be a lot more careful when representing such important aspects of like mental illness(es).

    • Casey
      July 24, 2018 / 1:43 pm

      Thank you very much Niamh

  19. Unknown
    July 22, 2018 / 10:48 am

    This is such an important post and I'm glad that you wrote it. I haven't seen the movie but depression should never be trivialised like that and the more people that speak out on it the better.Jas xx

    • Casey
      July 24, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you Jas! xx

  20. Natasha Hudson
    July 25, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    I love how you’ve worded this and for such an important topic. I’ve never seen Sherlock Gnomes but I hope you hear back from the creators Tasha x

    • Casey
      August 1, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Thank you so much! x

  21. Simone Daniels
    August 2, 2018 / 9:25 am

    I totally understand.. sometimes people don't understand how much words can hurt or the impression they leave behind, especially on kids.. Thanks for pointing this out💞

    • Casey
      August 2, 2018 / 9:41 am

      Thank you for your comment!

  22. Sophia
    August 6, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    This is such an important subject and I think you wrote this really well. When I am watching a film, I zone out and focus on whats happening I don't really think about certain issues within films. Im glad this opened my eyes up abit more. Sophia xo // https://sophiaaaxo.com

    • Casey
      August 7, 2018 / 6:06 am

      Thank you Sophia!xo

  23. Liv’s Little Blog
    August 21, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    Very good post on a very important topic! Makes you realise just what goes on. A very eye opening post xLivslittleblog.com

    • Casey
      August 22, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      Thank you for your comment lovely!

  24. Inspired By T
    August 24, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    Very well written. I have suffered from Depression and I will sit on the fence with the comment from Sherlock Gnomes. I personally have a dry sense of humour and will quite often take the mickey out of myself in such a way. I can see how it would effect others though

    • Casey
      September 4, 2018 / 2:58 pm

      Thank you for your comment lovely x

  25. ARTERIA RICHARDSON
    September 1, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    I love this post because it's so true. The media is very insensitive when it comes to mental health. They either make jokes or make people with mental health issues seem like people are crazy. People do not understand the realness. They need to show the truth behind it. Keep doing what you're doing . You're amazing for this .

    • Casey
      September 4, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment Arteria. The words used by the media do impact real people, I don't think they realise the influence which they have. Thank you lovely!

  26. NextOnTheMap
    September 2, 2018 / 9:56 am

    I completely see where your coming from, very insensitive and good for you to raise the issue with them! Mental health should never be discussed in such a way!

    • Casey
      September 4, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you!

  27. The S Word
    September 9, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Great post and something that needs to be talked about more!Sam (thesword7.home.blog)

    • Casey
      September 12, 2018 / 10:52 am

      Thank you Sam!

  28. Unknown
    October 10, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    beautifully written post xLiv: gradgirldiary.com

    • Casey
      October 12, 2018 / 7:53 am

      Thank you very much Liv! x

  29. Jhon mac
    December 21, 2018 / 10:27 am

    Thanks for shearing about this I thinks its very hopeful post and very important post for us. I really appreciate information shared above. It’s of great help.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful.college student mental health statistics

    • Casey
      December 21, 2018 / 5:15 pm

      Hello,Thank you for your comment! You don't need to thank me!Love Casey x

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