Mental illness should not be taken lightly

Samantha Middendorf, Entertainment Editor

I will be the first to admit to lightly joking around with my friends about mental illnesses in the past.  Sometimes phrases like “don’t be so depressed,” or “stop acting like a crazy person,” slip out when you’re not paying attention.  But that doesn’t make it okay.

A hot topic of discussion recently is the speculation around Amanda Bynes.

Bynes was a child actor and is most known for her acting in films such as “She’s the Man” and “Easy A.”

Recently, Bynes was hospitalized in an involuntary psychiatric care unit and is said to suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

I’ve seen numerous posts on social media sites discussing Bynes’ condition, and let me tell you, none of them were very kind.

In August, comedian and actor Robin Williams committed suicide. 

It later came to surface that Williams had suffered from depression and that it was likely linked to his suicide.

Floods of people turned to social media to express how upset they were by the loss of Williams and how horrible it must be to suffer from depression.

These two examples may be different, but in many ways they are similar.  Both celebrities suffer from a mental illness, and mental illnesses are a serious condition. 

Mourning over the loss of Williams and posting statuses on Facebook making fun of Bynes’ public outbursts make you nothing but a coward.

Think before you speak.  Consider what you’re about to post online before typing it.  I know it’s a radical idea, but try to keep your opinions to yourself.

I believe that the situation Bynes and her family have been put in is incredibly saddening. 

Not only do they have to live with trying to overcome mental illnesses in general, but also they have to do it under the public’s eye.

Many people may think of Bynes as an actress that has gone off the beaten path and shouldn’t be allowed out in public, but the fact of the matter is that she has every right to.

Those that suffer from mental illness are fully capable of functioning as someone who does not suffer from one.  In fact, many people you know are probably suffering and you have no idea. You probably walk right past those fighting mental illness on a daily basis and have no idea.

I can bet that you have a friend hat suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, and I can bet that you don’t even realize it. 

You probably treat them like you treat all your other friends.

And that’s how you should be treating the rest of society that suffers from mental illnesses, famous or not.

Samantha Middendorf is a sophomore journalism major.  She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]