JK Rowling has issued a bold rebuttal to those who argue that “depression isn’t real”.
The ‘Harry Potter’ author tweeted on the topic after MMA fighter and former ‘Big Brother’ contestant Andrew Tate tweeted to say: “Depression isn’t real. You feel sad, you move on. You will always be depressed if your life is depressing. Change it.”
In response to his comments, Rowling assured her follows that depression is a “real mental illness”, while a major mental health charity has said “depression is a debilitating condition that can destroy lives”.
In a thread of further tweets on Thursday, Tate continued to express the view that depression “isn’t a clinical disease”, claiming those who have been diagnosed with the illness are “too lazy” to change their lives and use depression to “justify their own failures”.
Thousands of people have condemned Tate over the comments, with Alex William, lead singer of All Time Low, tweeting: “Andrew. Stop talking now. You clearly misunderstand the subject on which you’re speaking, doing a disservice to those who suffer.”
In response to the comments, James Harris, head of media and communications at the Mental Health Foundation told HuffPost UK: “In recent years we have seen significant increases in mental health awareness, and a greater willingness to discuss the impact of mental health problems.
“Comments such as these highlight that while we have come a long way there is still significant progress to be made. Depression is a debilitating condition that can destroy lives.
“We wouldn’t ask people to ‘get on with it’ if they were living with a serious physical health problem, that some people still feel this way about mental health should increase our resolve to bring about further change.”
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org