Meghan Markle shows how mental illness does not discriminate

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Martina Frasca, Copy Editor

Did you know 1 in 4 adults in the United States have some type of mental illness and 75 percent don’t receive the help they need?

There are many reasons for this but a big part of it is because there is still a stigma about mental health. Often when people see someone they look up to such as a celebrity, a family member or even a friend that has opened up about their struggles, they get the courage to open up themselves. And that is why it is so important for people to share their stories.

The thing with mental illness is it does not discriminate against age, race, gender or class. Even those who seem like they are well off and have it all figured out, there is a chance they might be struggling.

On March 7, 2021 CBS aired a primetime special of Orpah Winfrey interviewing the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after they took a step down from senior members of the royal family a little over a year ago.

When you look at someone like the Royals, our perceptions would describe their life as a fairytale living in a huge castle.

Winfrey even said when talking about Markle’s wedding that it looks like magic and the perception was a picture-perfect wedding. But Markle stated, “it was nothing from what it looked like” and we too often forget that perceptions and reality are two different things and not only about the wedding and the Royals but in every person’s life.

In the interview Winfrey describes how Markle was receiving constant criticism and racism by tabloids. And Markle claims that she was not being protected or getting the support that she needed. Dealing with these false statements and lack of support, Markle called it “almost unsurvivable” and didn’t see a solution which led to a breaking point with her mental health.

When Markle was pregnant with her first child, Archie, she had a mental health crisis and didn’t want to live anymore.

“I was really Ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially because I know much loss he suffered, but I knew if I didn’t say it, that I would do it and I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” Markle admitted.

Due to stigma, many people like Markle are ashamed and afraid of admitting they are struggling. Some think it’s a sign of weakness and is afraid of how people are going to react and don’t know whether they will be believed or taken seriously.

Markle went to the institution saying she needed to go somewhere and begged to get help however, she was told she couldn’t. This led her to not wanting to be left alone because she was afraid of what she would do.

Many people feel they are trapped with no solution and don’t know how to get help. They play the role and put on a smile to hide what they are feeling.

Many people have publicly stated that they don’t believe what Markle has admitted in the interview. Whether you believe her story or not, when someone tells you they were and especially are currently struggling mentally, it should never be taken lightly and should not be up for a debate. People feel so much pain and loneliness and it takes true courage to open up to someone.

“You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights,” Markle said.

No matter if you’re the President of the United States, the Duchess of Sussex, a janitor working in a middle school, or a homeless person on the street, everyone’s feelings are valid no matter how ridiculous they may seem and everyone deserves to be heard and get help.

Markle is not lying when she said, “there is another side, life is worth living.”