No, we are talking. Are you still not listening?

Image: Captain Picard, from Star Trek, doing a face palm.

Over the past week or so I have seen a handful of posts on Facebook about Kristen Bell sharing her experience of depression and anxiety. I adore Kristen Bell as an actress, person and someone who shares my name. She is one of many who have experienced the horrible sadness and dread the comes with depression and anxiety. There was one article headline that required a face palm. It read, “No One Talks About This Type Of Illness — But Kristen Bell Says She’s Done Staying Silent“. At first, I thought to myself, ‘What illness? Does she have one of the diagnoses that no one really talks about?’ As I mentioned above, Bell experienced depression and anxiety. Que face palm. What do they mean “no one talks about this type of illness”?? Depression and anxiety are the most experienced and spoken about mental health diagnoses! Not only are they the most talked about experiences but the same information about them is fed to us over and over again. Are people not listening? This is starting to feel like a broken record.

I know that I’ve been talking. I know that many of you have been talking. Where are our voice getting lost?

I don’t exactly have a solution for what I’m writing about. I think I’m still emotionally charged. I know that when you’re in activism, your issue surrounds your life. I guess for many people, mental wellness is not a daily conversation. It needs to be.

Stay loud, stay proud!





17 thoughts on “No, we are talking. Are you still not listening?

  1. No one talks about depression and anxiety in the same way no one talks about racism. It’s only relevant when the privileged people start talking about it. No one every pays attention to those of us who actually has it–who wants to listen to crazy people?

    I agree. It’s obnoxious.

    • Yes! That’s it! I respect a celebrities experience, they are people too. I just know so many amazing people who are doing great things in mental health and addiction and no one takes notice. We do listen to those who pass, the people that “look so normal”. I feel the same anger when I hear people say that there isn’t a race problem, that there is no sexism and anyone who denies transphobia!

  2. The powers that be don’t listen, we may speak and write to them, but they certainly (here in this area anyhow) don’t listen or even pretend to.

    I was basically told once that it’s cheaper for the gov’t to just put mentally ill onto disability then it is to provide treatment, of course this was off the record when said, but it’s pretty clear this is how the gov’t operates with throwing some token money here and there to make it look like they are doing something. Like closing down 20 beds then announcing the opening of 10 beds in a new facility so it looks like they did something, but reality is the # of beds went down.

    I’ve gotten too tired to try anymore, so I mostly keep quiet, hard to keep trying when nobody actually does listen who can change things.

    • It is cheaper to just put people on medication and not put the effort into making lasting change in their life such as providing counselling, social activities, alternative therapies etc. The issue is, while these services may be expensive at first, it is the band aids that end of costing more in the long run as hospitals have a revolving door of the same people coming and going.

      Opening up 10 beds doesn’t take away the fact that 10 beds are still missing…but people will pat themselves on the back just the same, you’re right. I do see change and obviously, it is not enough. The main psychiatric hospital in my city is opening 3 youth mental health walk-in clinics and I hope the do something for the youth population here.

      • Ontario seems a bit more forward thinking when it comes to mental health when compared to BC. We do have a much smaller population, so I can’t exactly expect the same amount of services as Ontario has, but our government could do much better then they have, and they could also make it not so Vancouver centric.

        I could with a wait of course (a year or more but better then nothing) access group DBT via government funded program if I lived in the City of Vancouver, but since I don’t live in the City of Vancouver, I cannot access it. It’s just so messed up. If we could afford rent in Vancouver, we would be there in a heart beat, but the rent is well beyond our budget so living there is not an option.

        It would even help if the extended health insurance covered more mental health, my wife has coverage through work and they cover everything under the sun, except mental health with is restricted coverage and they will only cover psychologists and only up to $50 per visit, max of 500 per year, thing is my counselor is still cheaper at full price then a psychologist is with this coverage. I don’t see the counselor often, but when we have extra money I do, so sometimes I go weeks or a month or 2 without seeing anyone.

        Yes your right in the long run the way the system is done costs more, but government only seems to think short term, and I was more or less not in those exact words told that by the government when I tried to get coverage for DBT, basically 1 year of DBT costs more then 1 year of medication, but they seemed to totally think the 6 weeks worth of inpatient hospitalization was just free or something….

        Suppose it doesn’t help with have a severe shortage of doctors and mental health professionals in general, we have something like 600 doctor vacancies in BC and no ability to fill them, and doctors are retiring faster then they come here.

        It’s scary sometimes how thin the healthcare system is running, we have seriously been contemplating moving to the US just so we can access more appropriate healthcare without the excessive waiting, with the reform down there, insurance is now accessible to those of us with existing issues, and far cheaper then it used to be, but there is no wait, so maybe its time to just bite the bullet and move and just pay for healthcare out of pocket down there.

        I’ve noticed a noticeable decline in the quality and accessibility of healthcare since I arrived in 2005, example my wife needs a procedure done, referral sent in Feb, appointment not until November, It’s just insane.

        When the doctor thought I had a heart issue, I waited 8 months, and it was a long and nervous 8 months.

        Oh well, sorry for the healthcare rant.

      • I wrote you a huge response and then my browser went backwards and I lost it all.

        I guess to summarize, I feel your pain. Waiting is horrible, things not being funded is horrible, poor private insurance is such a let down. There is much room for improvement in our system.

      • No worries, word press can do that. I have had it happen so often, I write everything in gmail first, google seems better at auto saving.

      • I will do that next time! I know I have done that in the past, especially when someone leaves a long comment and I want to make sure I respond to most of the points!

  3. I can’t help it: ‘I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant…’ (slinking away back to my ice cream now…)

  4. Does it bother anyone that there have been terms removed from our language because they have been deemed as offensive to specific groups, but words like crazy, insane, unhinged, whacko, deranged, loco, mental, demented,… well, you get my point, are bandied about in schools, businesses, the media, and just about every place that has people speaking. I guess if you have a mental health disorder your skin is so thick you aren’t battered by these terms coming at you each and every day. 43.8 million or 18.5% of the US population suffers from some form of a mental health disorder, however, does anyone see anything wrong with using these terms in casual conversation? But then, I’m not sure if anyone is actually listening to me since I belong to the 18.5%.

    • The reasoning I have heard is that, for example, “crazy” has other meanings in English other than to describe a person’s mental state and if you look up crazy in the dictionary these other definitions appear ( Some of the definitions of crazy sound positive such as being crazy in love with someone. I have often tried to explain to people that even if they mean “crazy good” it is still based on the idea of a person or something being illogical just in the case of love we accept it. The meaning is still actually the same, just a different context.

      Over in the UK a “fag” is also what they call a cigarette. If you look at the history of the word faggot it originates from a term that meant a bundle of sticks which was used to burn heretics. So, to use the term faggot or fag as a deeper and extremely disturbing meaning given the past and still present cultural views on the LGBT community.

      Overall, many groups of marginalized people have had to tip toe around the oppressor and make their point for freedom in ways that make the oppressor feel comfortable. As soon as we start saying “you’re hurting me,” the mind turns off. We need to keep going though because change doesn’t happen if people feel comfortable!

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