One thing that really resonated for me during the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan this week was the openness with which Meghan speaks about her own issues with mental health. Meghan Markle admitted on national television that she was suicidal during her time spent behind the machine of the British Royal Family.
This is huge. Brava Meghan for speaking your truth and showing the world that you can get through it and come out the other side.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, first and foremost it brings the issues right to the spotlight and starts that conversation.
There’s been a real push in the last several years for more discussions regarding the proliferation of mental health issues. For the most part, this has happened through corporate sponsorship and celebrity disclosures of anxiety, depression, and general struggles with their mental health.
There’s always a burst of publicity when a high profile person (like Robin Williams or Anthony Bourdain) commits suicide. If you google it or check wikipedia the list is enormous. It’s so sad. Who knows what would have happened had they been willing to talk about it? That’s really the question.
For Meghan Markle, she was placed in a bubble of unrealistic scrutiny, public opinion, and untold pressures.
Yes, she is a celebrity and we can say she should have known what she was walking into but that is not only unfair but also supports the bullies and bigotry she was unfairly subjected to. No one deserves to be poked and prodded by a bunch of bastards who’re getting their jollies by breaking someone. Who does that?
What we seem to forget is that celebrities are simply human beings.
They have a public platform and accept the notoriety and fame, but they don’t sign up to be bullied for the way they look, their race, or character. The fact that Markle was faced with such a barrage of vile bullshit says a lot about the press, the royal institution and the lack of support around her. No one stood up to the lies and an avalanche of negativity was heaped on a young woman who just wanted to make a difference in the world.
Her recognition of a problem within her own psyche is huge. She was able to identify her feelings and know that they were getting out of control. This shows a tremendous amount of strength and And, she told someone.
She told her husband who then held her and tried to understand but he couldn’t put her pain into words.
Prince Harry admitted openly he was too embarrassed to talk openly about his wife’s mental health so didn’t tell anyone that Meghan was actually suicidal. That admission, I hope, will save lives as he was now able to admit to the world the perceived flaw of weakness that his wife was suffering.
To have someone with their platform come forward and say they’ve had these thoughts will hopefully offer strength to others. Hey if they can do it–so can you.
Suicide is a permanent solution to situations that are for the most part temporary. Seeking help is the first step and will hopefully add meaning to life through whatever kind of assistance is necessary.
Harry and Meghan found their way out. They both knew that for their own mental health and that of their growing family, something had to change.
Change is possible.
Canada Suicide Prevention ServiceHours: 24/7/365.
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