I’m trying really hard not to be so negative. It’s something MrsAB would love to see happen and when I’m not I really do feel the benefits. But ever once in a while something comes along to break that effort and I relapse, sometimes for trivial reasons, sometimes quite rightly. And so it was the latter that stirred my ire last week when I spotted this article in the Daily Mail tweeted by Rethink: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1348114/Want-beat-depression-Do-I-did–just-grip.html. Now I don’t want to get political in this blog as it’s not the place nor does it do me much good, but I loathe the Daily Mail. Ever since I was young I remember my Nana having it delivered and slowly becoming aware of the particularly myopic view of the world that it choses to portray. I read the article and it has to be said that it was quite fair in its description of the lows of depression, that finding an inner calm does help. What fails to help in any way, shape or form is the Mail’s decision to run the article as seen below.
Telling people to “get a grip” is far from constructive and is the thing I feared the most when I first admitting to having a problem. Deep inside, getting a grip is what you want to do but you want others to help you find the way of doing that. In fact, when I explained this to a good friend he told me that was precisely what I was doing – being signed off work, seeking the help of professionals and, yes, taking medication was getting a grip, it was pulling myself together. I wasn’t wallowing in self pity, I was trying to work out why I was in this state and what path(s) I might take to get out because, when you are in there, the exit is hard to find. Even now, 18 months on I can’t look back and identify any one exit or moment of “getting a grip”, they are probably many. And so for the Daily Mail to deliver a sneering panacea of a headline is not only disappointing it is insulting.
Given the Daily Mail’s editorial tendencies to blame everybody else for the problems they see – be that asylum seekers, people of a non-Anglican religion, Labour politicians, Lib-Dem politicians (even Tory politicians), homosexuals, students, the BBC, ITV, Sky, the Guardian/Times/Independent reading middle classes, the Sun/Mirror/Star reading working classes, the EU, the French, the Germans, the Welsh/Scottish/Irish…….you get the picture – telling those of us who have complex health problems merely to “get a grip” seems to me a little hypocritical. So next time you see a Daily Mail headline which blames others in a fit of hysteria why not spend a few seconds dropping a quick line to Paul Dacre: here’s his email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – and just put “get a grip”. If only it was so easy.