I was at a car repair place recently, waiting in the lobby (with my mask on by myself,) while my car was being worked on. The TV was on and I am pretty sure it was on ESPN. I was half paying attention at first and half playing on my phone, but quickly noticed the story on was about an NBA player who was being open about having depression. The player was black, and a man on there discussing it, who was also black, was shaming him for it. This is the second time recently I have seen this happen. One black person shaming another for having depression. Once they do, many white people then jump on board and think it is okay to do as well. I am not black, so maybe I have no right to speak up about this, but I do have a lot black friends often tell me that they think the mental health stigma is even worse among black people. I am part of a group on Facebook full of all races where everyone discusses race civilly (seems impossible right? but seriously, it is a wonderful group called Blended Lines). When we were discussing this issue, white people also share their experiences, and the black people in the group were surprised that the stigma was bad among whites as well. Like a lot of other issues, this is something that affects us all and that we all need to work together to improve on.
I will not pretend to know or remember who the basketball player or the man criticizing him was. I enjoy watching playoffs or good basketball games occasionally but am more of a football fan, especially college football. Anyways, the man shaming was saying that the player knew what he was signing up for and everyone goes through stuff and so on. This quickly got my attention and someone across the room may have noticed me quietly saying, “what an a-hole”. I actually said just that so I was censoring myself at least, but I was irritated and started paying more attention. Another guy comes on and quickly defends the player. Again, I do not even know who this man was or remember his name, just that he was a white man. He said that he thought the player was brave for speaking out and it has been proven people cannot help this. Plus, you have no idea what he is going through in his personal life as well.
I felt better someone had said exactly what I was thinking, so I calmed down for the moment, but of course I still eventually had to write a blog about it. This whole thing reminds me of something I talk about in my book. I once had a dream that I had a rash, but everyone around me had one that was worse so everyone kept ignoring mine, including me until it got worse and worse. It was not hard to figure out the meaning to this dream. We can always find someone who has it worse than us, but that doesn’t mean what we are going through does not matter or that we do not need help and attention too. Like my recent story about Michelle Obama being shamed for having depression, (https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/08/25/stop-shaming-michelle-obama-for-having-depression/), rich and famous people get depression too. Money or fame does not cure it, and they should not be shamed for it. They are actually being good examples in my opinion by sharing their struggles to let everyone know that anyone can go through it. Mental health is as important as physical health and should not be ignored.
Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor