By Mike McMahan, LPC
Kudos to Demi Lovato for speaking out at the Democratic National Convention about the stigma of having a mental illness. The 23-year-old singer, who gave us the far superior take on Frozen’s “Let It Go” by unveiling a version with a much more dramatic arrangement than the one in the film (no offense to Adele Dazeem, uh, I mean Idina Menzel), stood alone at a podium on national TV and faced down the cameras and the bright lights.
“Untreated mental illness can lead to devastating consequences, including suicide, substance abuse, and long-term medical issues” she intoned. “We can do better. Every one of us can make a difference. By getting educated on this epidemic and its frightening statistics and by breaking the stigma, I urge every politician to support laws that will provide access to better healthcare and support for everyone.”
This is not the first time that Demi has advocated for awareness on this important issue (nor will it be the last, I’m sure). Having struggled with an eating disorder and bipolar disorder, sought treatment and being willing to speak out by the age of 24 is not a feat just anyone could achieve.
If you are struggling with a mental illness or think you might be, please talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. As Demi points out, while there may be a stigma, your health and safety is paramount. We all matter, and we all have something to do to make the world a better place.
Mike McMahan, LPC, is a psychotherapist based in San Antonio, Tx.
Therapy Goes POP
Perspectives on therapy and mental health as viewed through the lens of popular culture