So, you wanna talk about artists' mental health? (Or do you just pretend to care?)


I have personally stopped publishing any even slightly critical or negative posts on Facebook a long time ago (unless I manage to express it in a funny, non-intrusive way), because I noticed one thing - every time I did that, there was always at least a dozen people who immediately flooded the comments, more or less politely attacking my opinion. Even worse, later I got the word that some of those people (not exactly strangers to me) now think that "I'm just the person that only complains" (despite even back then I was being really sensitive about what I was talking about on social media). Kinda saddened me, to be honest - did I deserve it just because I spoke up about something from time to time?

Anyway, not much has changed since then. Even though I chose to remain rather silent myself, I see artists getting slandered for their opinions every day, with the situation somehow almost every time turning against them. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube comments section, all pretty much the same shitshow.

And frankly, I am a little bit surprised, because it seems that a lot of people seem to be also embracing the topic of mental health at the same time, a lot of artists posting about it, encouraging others to speak up... And I cannot help myself to find this a bit hypocritical given the way things are. On one hand, people with problems are encouraged to speak about their issues instead of keeping it all inside and hiding their pain from the world, but on the other one, every time someone finds the courage to do it, they're just met with storm of self-centered opinions, ending up feeling sometimes even a way worse than before. It's probably not hard to guess that this really doesn't add up to their overall mental health either.

You may now think "but wait, if you express your opinion publicly on social media, you simply have to have the balls for an eventual confrontation". Well, yes, that's actually true, no doubts! After all, a wise person should be capable of respecting another person's opinion anyway - but the same actually goes for you, too. You may also think that maybe artists should speak about those things in private instead of social media, and I'll partly agree as I think that's always the better way, but on the other hand, not allowing people to speak up on social media only perpetuates the problem of them being an unhealthy, pretentious display of only those most positive and shiny sides of our lives. And it gets actually a bit more complex than that - opening up to another person can be difficult, not to mention sometimes there just isn't any person to speak to, etc. In my personal opinion, occasional(!!!) cultured venting on social media should be considered just as normal as posting all the happy stuff, or at least tolerated.

To be fair tho' - sometimes it's also us, artists, who should take the blame. When something is making us unhappy for too long and too much, we can also "forget the manners" and speak up about something in a rude and offensive way. In that case, we shouldn't be really surprised for being confronted in a similar manner, 'coz ya know - who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind, the law of action-reaction. We need to be careful with our words as well as when we're not, aren't we, in fact, creating a part of the problem ourselves? Even though we might feel entitled to have something to say about a certain thing given the insane amount of time we are putting into our craft, we have to stay humble and cultured when expressing ourselves, knowing well those are not absolute truths but only relative opinions as well.

So, if you've read my rant all the way down here, please, next time when you feel the urge to react to a different opinion that doesn't align with yours, think twice first. Remember there is a human being sitting behind the other screen, a person that has emotions and feelings, a person who wrote that post because he/she/anything feels unhappy about something. A person, that often feels alone with their problems and more than confrontation he/she needs the exact opposite - a confirmation from somebody who feels the same, or at least understands. Even if you don't agree, sometimes, the bravest, most helpful thing you can do is to remain silent. And if you still can't help yourself, at least try to choose your words wisely so you don't do any more damage - because that's exactly what those comments do. They make the person on the other side feel worse and also, they make the person even more afraid to speak about it - with anyone.

After all, being nice to people costs you nothing - and boosts your karma and relationships as a nice bonus.