Media Report on "Stars" and Depression - A good thing, BUT...
I just read an interesting little article, "Stars go public about their depression," on the ChronicleLive site. The article names several celebrities who have "acknowledged suffering with depression," and quotes each of them on the subject of their experience with depression. The celebrities mentioned are:
- Jim Carrey
- Cheryl Crow
- Zach Braff (Scrubs)
- Dame Kelly Holmes ("sporting legend")
- Paul Gascoigne (retired football player)
- Jack Dee (comedian)
- Melanie Chisholm (Spice Girl)
So, what's the "BUT" here? Tell me what's wrong with the sentence, "Sporting legend, Dame Kelly Holmes, 38, has admitted to suffering with depression in her childhood." What's wrong with it is the word "admitted."
Here are some definitions of "admit" from Dictionary.com:
- to allow or concede as valid: to admit the force of an argument
- to acknowledge; confess: He admitted his guilt.
- to grant in argument; concede: The fact is admitted.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Using the word "admit" makes it sound as if people with depression have done something wrong, as if they have something to confess. Do we have something to confess? Have we done something wrong that we need to "admit." No.
This article isn't the only one in which I've seen it phrased that a celebrity had "admitted" to depression. It's just the article that caught my attention today. Everyone in the media needs to thing about the various connotations and impact of the words they use.
Hey, members of the media! People with depression have nothing to "admit." Please choose your words more carefully.
Well, that's my soapbox issue of the day. Thanks for "listening."
Bradbury, Jennifer. "Stars go public about their depression." Evening Chronicle. March 17, 2008.