Amber Heard’s mental health issues shouldn’t be used as a weapon
In a world where even Netflix doesn’t have enough content to hold our whim (the streaming giant is apparently hemorrhaging subscribers faster than clothes fall off a Bridgerton character), we had to find a new form of evening entertainment: catching up with the celebrity court hearings of the day. For the past week or so we’ve been treated to the wormhole in another dimension that is Wagatha Christie’s High Court trial, but if that’s started to bother you, I have some news: today, after a week off, Johnny Depp v Amber Heard comes back to life, to give us a more jaw-dropping deposition (see what I did there?).
Like most people, I realize that truth is often much stranger than fiction. And the truth is this, in the case of Depp and Heard: we would all be better off if they had spent their money on decent therapy, before donating the rest to charity. Instead, Depp chose to chase his ex-wife to the brink of madness, and many hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of people happily went with him. Social media is buzzing with posts and reels explaining why Johnny is innocent. This is, ostensibly, a libel suit. But really, it’s a modern-day witch trial.
Early in the proceedings, we learned from a forensic psychologist that Heard most likely suffered from borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Dr Shannon Curry had been called to give evidence for Depp and said she made the assessment from a review of Heard’s previous psychological assessments, coupled with a direct examination twice and participation in a test Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Curry also cast doubt on Heard’s claims that the relationship left her with PTSD, announcing that the condition is one of the easiest to fake.
What’s the message here, other than that you can’t believe or trust the mentally ill? And there’s another reading that could come from this testimony: that if Depp misbehaved in any way, then Heard pushed him to do it. He’s just an innocent victim of a sick woman.
But there’s nothing sicker than using mental illness as a metaphorical stick to beat someone in a trial. It’s cheap, it’s sticky and it’s dangerous. We know, for example, that the mentally ill are far more vulnerable to abuse than most. And it sets the mental health campaign back decades, because this essay implicitly implies that a person with borderline personality disorder or HPD is bad, rather than a human being with a problem that deserves compassion and l ‘aid.
It’s also disturbing how many people I’ve heard say they dislike Heard, as if liking someone is the benchmark for whether or not we should take their concerns seriously. There’s a startling lack of human empathy – let alone understanding – when someone complains of abuse, and all we can do in return is to shrug our shoulders and point out that this person is difficult, so what did she expect?
There is something deeply troubling about a justice system that not only allows this kind of pathetic public posturing, but also seems to actively encourage it. What are these highly qualified lawyers doing who happily accept being paid by people who literally have more money than common sense? There’s a good place for Depp and Heard, and it’s not a courtroom. It’s a treatment center where hopefully they can both be cured.
Doctors really know best
We just recovered from a particularly nasty stomach flu in our house, with no grace to the internet. Lying on the bathroom floor on the fourth day of being sick, I picked up my phone and asked Instagram what I should do. Look, I was desperate, and the Imodium wasn’t working. “Does anyone have any home remedies?” I cawed into my camera.
Ten minutes later, dozens of people told me to take activated charcoal. Apparently it would bind to the urge in my stomach and flush it out. My husband, thankfully spared the bug, went out to a Holland & Barrett and returned with a bottle of the aforementioned charcoal. I drank it in water, trying not to vomit, and waited for this miracle cure to work its magic.
This does not happen. In fact, it only seemed to get worse. When I relayed this to my followers, they seemed quite offended in the name of activated charcoal, telling me that “it’s supposed to make things worse” and that I should “take more, until it goes away.” stopped”. But at this point, I had decided it was best to ignore the internet and follow the advice of my doctor, who pointed out to me that the only real “cure” for these bugs is to let them run their course. Who knew that in medical matters, it is always better to listen to a qualified professional, and not strangers on social networks?