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Why This 'Big Brother' Contestant's Rant About Depression Is So Dangerous

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It’s suicide prevention month, and as most of you know, suicide is the second leading cause of death in children and teens, second to accidents.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 3 a.m. (I rarely sleep when I am beginning to swing from bipolar disorder) and went to Twitter to find the following from former Big Brother contestant and kick boxer Andrew Tate.

Now we know this guy is clearly lacking any sort of empathy, but my issue is that in 2017, we are still having to battle this ridiculous fucking mindset — ignorance. It’s never OK to discount an illness, not fucking ever. That is the stuff that stops people from reaching out for help, and that is never OK.

Unkind people are usually that way because others have been unkind to them, but there is no excuse for ignorance or complete denial of mental health issues. That is a dangerous thing.

When ignorance is given a voice, ours must be louder.

Tate goes on and on in his Twitter rant stating, “Sure I’d be depressed if I was broke. Fat. Lonely. With zero life goals. Do I need pills or a reality check? You propagate the excuses.” 

Then I think about the well-known and much-loved souls who have died by suicide and seemed to have been living everything Tate praises and I get furious.

Kurt Cobain.

Robin Williams.

David Foster Wallace.

Chris Cornell.

According to Tate, “Pretending depression is something you catch and absolving all personal responsibility while downing pills and complaining is BS,” and that, my friends, is fucking staggering to me.

Because this guy can not wrap his head around facts, he’d rather admonish anyone who struggles, and then kicks it up a notch with words like these: “Everyone’s a depressive now. Oh, you’re all so special and have such hard problems those in Syria are glad they aren’t you boohoo.” 

Trolls the likes of Andrew Tate are a dime a dozen. People struggling with depression and other mental illnesses are one in five. And while Tate discriminates, mental illness doesn’t. Let’s all hope the black dog is never nipping at his heels.

The Andrew Tates of the world are part of the problem, people who live with depression aren’t. You are a badass every damn day, because not only must you struggle with your own thoughts, you have to fight against the misinformed Andrew Tates of the world. Rock on with your badass selves, you’re the winners here.

If you are struggling at all, reach out. It is hard to do, but it is one of the bravest and best things you will ever do. Never be ashamed of your illness, it’s not your fault. Never let the unkind words of another stop you from seeking help because regardless of what fools say, they are only that: fools, fools who are looking for attention. You matter, your life matters and you are never alone.

This piece originally appeared on The Lithium Chronicles.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Screenshots via Twitter 

Originally published: September 8, 2017
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