An illness demystified

The sight of journalists camped outside the psychiatric hospital
housing Frank Bruno made for uncomfortable viewing. Even household
names surely deserve some privacy and the early tabloid headlines
added to the sense of gross intrusion.

The Sun quickly dropped its initial “bonkers” tag and,
along with the rest of the media, opted for a much more sympathetic
approach to the former boxer’s mental health problems.

Clearly there are issues of confidentiality here but on another
level the fact that the story is out in the open may help to
demystify an illness traditionally surrounded by stigma.

After all the DoH spends about £1m a year on its Mind Out for
Mental Health campaign to promote the message that mental illness
is not shameful and one in four of us will get depression at some
point in our lives. So it’s ironic that people only start talking
about it when it happens to Bruno.

As for the attention the story has received, no one thinks twice
about blanket media coverage of David Beckham’s foot injuries. If
depression is just another illness why should that be treated any

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