Brandon Geib

@brandon-geib | contributor

Dr. Phil to Air Show Featuring Actress Shelley Duvall Despite Protests

People on social media are calling out Dr. Phil, saying his show exploits mental illness, for an episode airing Nov. 18 featuring actress Shelly Duvall. Duvall, 67, known for her roles in “Popeye” and “The Shining,” sat down with Dr. Phil to discuss her undisclosed mental illness after decades out of the media spotlight. In a clip shared by the television show, Duvall mentions she is concerned there is a disc implanted in her leg; she has seen the late Robin William, who she says is now a shapeshifter, and believes she is being threatened by the fictional sheriff from “Robin Hood.” Duvall also told Dr. Phil, “I’m very sick. I need help.” Ahead of the episode’s airdate, people are speaking out on social media, asking Dr. Phil and those involved with his show not to air the episode. If Dr Phil really wanted to help #ShelleyDuvall he wouldn’t use cameras to do it…..exploitation. I hope she has some real support.— Briony Kidd (@BrionyKidd) November 17, 2016 Idk might be a ground breaking new concept…butHow bout you actually help her, and not use her for ratings? #ShelleyDuvall #MyHeart— Stevie (@OddballSeal) November 17, 2016 Can anyone please arrange to get #shelleyduvall to a REAL doctor? — Kathy Cronin (@KathyCronin007) November 17, 2016 Among those speaking out is Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of “The Shining” director Stanley Kubrick. In a letter shared on Twitter, Kubrick wrote, “You are putting Shelly Duvall ‘on show’ while she is suffering from a pitiable state of ill health. Unquestionably, this is purely a form of lurid and exploitative entertainment — it’s appallingly cruel.”       My Letter to you @DrPhil Re: Your exploitive use of Shelly Duvall is a form of LURID ENTERTAINMENT and is shameful. pic.twitter.com/4f6MRTzr0A — Vivian Kubrick (@ViKu1111) November 17, 2016  Kubrick closes the letter asking others to join her in boycotting the show, “I recoil in complete disgust. I hope others will join me in boycotting your utterly heartless form of entertainment, because it has nothing to do with compassionate healing.” Is Dr. Phil exploiting Shelley Duvall and her mental illness? Let us know in the comments below.

Brandon Geib

Husband Writes Letter to Wife With Depression and Anxiety

To my wife and my best friend, When we first met five years ago, I never thought I would be writing this. As we stood on stage in front of all of those strangers, acting our hearts out, I never once believed we would find ourselves here. We’ve come a long way. When we first met, I’d never been truly close to a person who suffered from long-term anxiety and severe depression. They’d been merely buzzwords thrown around too many times by people who couldn’t think of another way to describe their daily frustrations. “I think I’m going to have a panic attack.” or “Oh my gosh, I’m so depressed” became a monotonous phrase that strangers were all too happy to proclaim when the coffee shop ran out of their favorite muffin or they were forced to stay in the library a little later than normal to finish a paper instead of going to the bars with their friends. It was a signal to others they had problems and they wanted people to recognize and sympathize with their petty difficulties. But you were different. I never saw this monotony in you. To the contrary, you were always so bright and full of life and energy. But then, slowly, I started to see the side of you that you were so apt to hide from me and the rest of the world for fear of being found out. The multiple days where you would stay in bed, or not shower, or the days where eating a meal seemed like too much work. The times I would catch you crying and you would try to hide it in a (poor) attempt to smooth everything over. We have now been together five years and married for nearly two of them. The time we’ve spent together has been amazing but truly defines an “emotional roller coaster.” Writing from the perspective of a husband who always likes to consider himself truly honest and, for lack of a better term, “manly,” it seemed inconceivable for me at first that there were days I couldn’t make you feel better. That I was powerless to change how you felt. When you reached your lowest low, it was difficult for me to not take personally your statements asking me to simply let you be and that you needed to work through it on your own. That there was nothing I could do to be a better husband or companion and help your sadness and anxiety go away and that, yes, you were crying, but it was nothing I had done. At that time, I’m sad to say, your assurances fell on deaf ears. When you reached your lowest low, you said something to me I will never be fully equipped to handle. “The only reason I’m still alive is because I couldn’t do that to you. I couldn’t kill myself only because I know how much it would hurt you.” That’s what you said. It broke my heart. In one sweeping statement, you managed to communicate exactly how much you value me and at the same time how much value you have placed on yourself. The frustration that comes with not being able to tell your depressed wife how much you love her, how each day is brighter with her in it, and instead knowing she will simply smile and not fully believe you or not realize what you’re trying to communicate is truly one of the hardest feelings I’ve ever had to overcome. In a word, I felt helpless. Leading up to our wedding and even a few months past it, I felt absolutely immobilized. I firmly believed there was nothing I could do. I felt trapped in a cycle of trying to understand your depression, to getting frustrated when it got too bad, and finally returning to wanting nothing more but to help you feel better. A truly unenviable position for any new husband. But today is a brighter day. It is more than a one year since that day and, after numerous phone calls and quite a few tears, you have been meeting with a psychologist who has helped you (well… helped both of us) learn to deal with your depression and anxiety in a healthy, controlled way. I have learned that there will always be days when you are down. Days when you are not quite yourself. And, while some days are a struggle, I am still trying to learn that when you are unhappy, there may not be a root cause. I know it still scares you. While your suicidal thoughts have dissipated, I know you constantly think about a day when they might reenter our lives and the home we have made. But know that this time… this time I will be ready. When we first met, I was a foolish college boy with a tremendous crush. I was not properly equipped to handle the effects of mental illness, nor was I ready to deal with the perceived backlash I thought could only be my fault. I was ready to give in to whatever you wanted, even if those tendencies were reckless or self-destructive. Today, I am a man. Today I am your husband. When we first met, I thought you were different. I was right. Because despite the internal battle you fight on a daily basis, you still manage to be truly the best wife I could have ever hoped for. Despite the challenges mental illness will no doubt bring to our future, I welcome them head on. So long as we can do it together. Your vigilant defender, Your husband. If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to  community@themighty.com . Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our  Submit a Story  page for more about our submission guidelines.