Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Curse of Reality TV?

Today, the morning news reported that yet another reality TV star has committed suicide. This is such tragic news and I can’t begin to imagine the pain that the family must be going through. When I hear that the individual was suffering from depression, a part of me becomes filled with fear, could this be something my son will struggle with?

Our pdoc claims there’s a possibility that my son will outgrow most of his symptoms and maybe only have depression as an adult, which she implied was no big deal since a lot society lives with depression and they have many medications to treat it. But you can’t ignore that one of the risk factors of depression is suicide. And this is so frightening to me.

Not only was I disturbed by today’s news report, but I was annoyed by the hype they gave it. They and many other reporters were trying to make the connection that reality TV has a curse (you can google it yourself). I tend to think this is foolish, it may make a good headline to bring ratings, but the truth is, that people are suffering from mental illness all around. So if you pull out a segment of society and put them on TV, they too will have a percentage of individuals suffering from mental illness. You can also make the claim that maybe some suffering from a mental illness that influences high risk behavior may seek out reality TV to start with.

Either way, I feel that these stories have less to do with reality TV and more to do with... reality.


  1. I agree, it's ridiculous--and irresponsible--for the media to link this poor man's suicide to reality TV. And like you, I can't help thinking about my child whenever I hear a story like this. Thought about her yesterday when Oprah had Marie Osmond on talking about her son's suicide. Didn't see the show, but read some of the interview on Oprah's website. She talked a lot about how lonely and depressed her son was--very sad and scary to think about your child getting to that place and being powerless to help him/her.

  2. Bugs Mom- Hey I just watched half of that Oprah show today, it really bummed me out. What was scary was that she mentioned her son being the happiest he's ever been just a month before.

  3. Hi Mama Bear,

    Yes, I remember that too. I have read that once someone makes the decision to commit suicide, it's very common for them to appear happy.