It’s Mental Health Awareness day. Well, it’s not, it was on the 10th October but, I was really depressed that day and didn’t feel quite like celebrating it, ok?
So Happy Belated Mental Health Awareness day to me.
To celebrate and raise awareness of mental health I watched a couple of episodes of the X Factor, Take Me Out and First Dates. Three shows that pioneer to raise awareness of mental health by featuring contestants that suffer from mental health issues. Also the Audience demographic that watch the X Factor, Take Me Out and First Dates prove to be several selfies short of a Kim Kardashian. Myself included. It never ceases to amaze me I have Netflix, Amazon Prime and access to a fairly decent illegal downloading website yet sometimes I find myself coming home late from a gig and watching back to back episodes of First Dates until 3am while sipping camomile tea and St. John’s Wort*.
*Saint Johns’ Wort is a natural remedy for depression and camomile tea counteracts feelings of anxiety whilst First Dates reassures you that you’re not the only one that’s going to die alone.
In all honesty it was watching back to back episodes of Crazy Ex Girlfriend that really got me thinking about Mental Health Issues.
It’s proper nice that in this day and age Mental Health issues are becoming less and less of a taboo. I think its because the person that was in charge of making it such a taboo, back in the day, has now got mental health issues themselves. It seems like everyone has experience and understanding of mental health now. Mental health issues are like STI’s, everyone’s had one of sorts; but no one wants to talk about them. I know I work in comedy, where mental health problems (and STI’s) are rife, but I can count on one hand the friends I know that haven’t suffered from a mental health issue at some point in their life. That’s not because I have hardly any friends (check out how many I have on Facebook, thank you very much, and yes over 42 per cent of them have added Me not the other way around so, I know they’re real). The reason I can only think of a few people who haven’t suffered is because it’s so bloody common! Like, it’s practically the Kerry Katona of health issues. Common as muck. With the common cold being Katie Price, obvs. Actually the common cold is probably more like Daniela Westbrook, sniff sniff if you know what I mean.
Alas, despite it being less of a taboo then fifty, sixty, seventy years ago*, we still don’t talk about it enough. I think I’ve had more conversations about menthol cigarettes then mental health, and I don’t even smoke. I also talk a lot about Menthal sweets, (Air Waves are my fave FYI, I find Tunes too acidic).
*With the exception of the 1920’s when they were very much up front about going through a Depression.
So, why are we still too shy to talk about Mental Health, why is it still to an extent such a taboo? Why are we so British about it? Why are we so Brexit about it? i.e something bad is going on but no one wants to address it? Why is Mental Health such a stigma? Also why is Stigma a bad thing? Jesus had stigma, and everyone blooming loves Jesus (with the exception of a small minority). In fact Jesus had the original stigma. Jesus probably had mental health issues too, being the Son Of God and all, I mean that’s a lot of pressure. He probably had a couple of Britney moments being from a broken family and all. I mean it’s not well documented but Jesus didn’t always have that long, lustrous full head of hair that he is famous for. Like, our gal Britney Spears, the fame got to his head and he shaved it all off.
And he probably shouted ‘You aint my real Dad’ at Joseph a few times. (Jesus is actually quite like Paris Hilton, in the fact that he’s only famous off the back of his dad).
Speaking of mental illness and people only famous off the back of their Dad, Kim Kardashian (her dad defended OJ Simpson in the nineties, I know right?!) is another starlet now in the spotlight raising the issue of mental health.
A month ago Kim Kardashian was robbed in her hotel room by men with guns. And I don’t mean men who’ve spent too much time in the gym, I mean men with America’s number one Republican Christmas gift. A Pistol. A Gun. (At this point in the blog I realise that the actress who plays Skylar from Breaking Bad, Anna Gun, her initials are A Gun. Mind blown. Shoot me. Sorry.) I digress…..
So Kim Kardashian is now unsurprisingly reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, is seeing a counsellor and is apparently so scarred from her horrifying ordeal she is thinking of giving up fame. So there’s a silver lining to it all. No, I’m joking. But you gotta make lemonade right? The best thing to come out of Kim Kardashian’s ordeal was that they have halted filming on Series 12* of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
*I was a fan of KUWK right up till Series 10 Episode 14, when Kourtney and Scott split up, which in my opinion was the reality show equivalent of Happy Days Jumping The Shark, I was out.
So, despite the likes of social media whores, Pop Princesses and Messiahs having mental health issues, there is still this shame around the subject. Apart from reality TV stars on Geordie Shore who proudly proclaim ‘I’m mad me. Proper crazy’, we ourselves cannot admit that we are so. What I’m saying is, we need to be more like the stars of Geordie Shore, i.e shameless.
I read somewhere (Wikipedia) that women tend to suffer from anxiety whereas men tend to suffer from depression. Sarah Silverman said, when being interviewed for her award winning and hard hitting film, ‘I Smile Back’ a drama about a young housewife battling with chronic depression, bipolar, addiction and anxiety, ‘Depression is being too consumed with the past, anxiety is being too worried about the future.’ The anecdote to depression and anxiety is to simply Stay Present. I try to remember this whenever I feel depressed or anxious. It’s like the award winning singer Victoria Beckham once sung about in her 2001 hit single ‘My Heart’s Got a Mind Of Its’ Own’, she sung ‘Stop, slow down, take a deep breath…’. And she married David Beckham so this girl has her shit together.
It’s also important to remember that we live in a mad world that merely aids a sombre and languorous like state. For example we live in a world where Snap Chat is a thing. For all the Grannies (over 25 year olds) that don’t know what Snap Chat is: Snap Chat is an app that sends photos to people that only last for a brief moment in time and then are gone, lost forever. How much of an allegory for life is that? Snap Chat is merely a reminder of the futility and meaningless of life. No wonder people can get overwhelmed by depression and mental health problems.
So with all of the above in mind I thought I’d give my top tips to coping with Anxiety, Depression and the ever present possibility that Trump might be President.
1. Google pictures of John Hamm with his top off
2. Write to the Jon Hamm Fan Club
3. Masturbate over Jon Hamm
4. Watch all six series of Mad Men starring Jon Hamm
5. Try and forget that Jonn Hamm has a girlfriend
6. Eat some ham and pretend that you are actually eating Jon Hamm.
7. Listen to John Hamm on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and love him even more when he talks about how he prefers women to have a fuller bush in the downstairs department (Dream Man)
8. Have a bath and think of John Hamm
9. Write a blog about Mental Health and use it to channel your Jon Hamm obsession
10. Try to remember that even Jon Hamm probably suffers from mental health issues.
For more information on mental health why not check out the website:
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