It all started with Alan Sugar. This is who we can really blame. No matter how many times he donates to charity, or stands up for the working class, it really will always be Lord Sugar’s fault. Katie Hopkins took to the stage initially on The Apprentice, and since then we have seen her evolve into an endless pit of shocking statements, and be famously known as ‘rent-a-gob’. We all have sighed at her comments, rolled our eyes as she appeared on another talk show, and almost forgiven her when she displayed compassion on Celebrity Big Brother. She was the new village idiot of Britain, and we were starting to accept this.
But after this week, this needs to stop.
Following the tragic German Wings plane crash, Hopkins insensitively posted the following tweets surrounding depression.
These tweets sparked mass hysteria on Twitter, with people branding Hopkins ‘disgusting…despicable…’ whilst others praised her for her honesty. Me? I just felt sad. Honestly, absolutely devastated that Twitter has been used in such an unintelligent way in a bid to increase her bank balance.
I do not suffer from depression, but I am close with people who have severely battled this illness. I have been on the phone with close friends who are close to committing suicide. People who, on paper, have everything to live for. People who are intelligent, beautiful, caring people who can’t shake the ominous black shadow that follows them around as they try to live their life. These are not ‘attention seekers’ crying over not having the latest Mac lipstick, nor are they so blinded by 21st Century problems that they have lost grip with reality. They are young people with an illness, which so many share, but keep quiet. To be so publically shamed like this and brushed off, well, that’s what leads to tragedies.
Depression in my generation is rife, but this may be due to the mounting pressures put upon people my age. The pressure to do well, to go to Uni, to succeed…followed by the high unemployment rate, low income. Social media is a separate entity, one that promotes ‘one-up-man-ship’. It’s the generation of showing off, of showing people just how fantastic your life is compared to others…all in 140 characters with a pretty filter. None of this is real. None of this matters. We know this…but it still resonates. I am not surprised that, as Hopkins states, there has been a 500% increase in prescribed anti-depressants.
But, coming back to Ms. Subtle…
Hopkins states that depression is thrown about too much these days, saying people mistake ‘depression’ with general upset over a social situation. This hyperbole has clearly been miscommunicated to Hopkins, or, she’s jumped on it to make a ridiculous remark so she can get a nice pay cheque this month. We all hear people say ‘Oh I’m soooo depressed it’s raining…’ or ‘She’s so thin it’s so depressing.’ Clearly, in these instances these people are exaggerating. You would have to be an idiot to take these comments seriously… Oh wait.
Depression is generally a silent killer. Sufferers stay quiet, not wanting to seem abnormal. Scared that if they open their mouths they won’t be able to stop crying. Scared that people will think they’re freaks/ over-exaggerating / weird. Two years ago, a young man I knew at University stayed silent in his battle, and it tragically resulted in him not being here anymore. In 2015, we should be able to voice our issues and be treated with kindness and empathy, not sarcastic tweets from nobodies who are later branded ‘hilarious’ by tabloids.
Depression is being silenced, but Katie Hopkins is given a platform. The tabloids brand those who suffer as ‘depressed with suicidal tendencies’ before dragging up horrors from their past, however applaud Hopkins as she continues to use Peaches Geldof’s death as a platform to get on TV. When will we stop listening to these trolls, and start listening to those who need it?
Let’s use social media in the best way. Unfollow Hopkins today, and retweet something from mental health charity MIND. If a bunch of One Direction fans can dominate the Twitter trends, we can overcome this online mentality.
It’s worth a try.
Until next time. xo