Mental Health. Reckful. Lessons we need to learn

Yesterday we lost a legend – both streaming and gaming. Sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet him IRL, it could happen in Amsterdam this year, because he was going, but then corona ruined that.

This year in general keeps getting worse, but unfortunately behind all the shitty things this year there are mostly our mistakes and failures as humanity, one way or another. We can blame 2020 for all that happened and is still happening and hell there might be more coming too, but we need to realize that behind all that shit there are real problems that we need to address and work on fixing that, otherwise in 6 months we will be blaming 2021 already. Today we will talk about problems that caused yesterday’s tragedy and this will be a long one…

Mental health is always a complicated subject, I think we are just getting properly to the point in our history as a civilization when we are learning more about it, recognizing existence of such issues and starting to treat them – that is a good thing of course. But also our development in recent years increased amount of such issues, we got more “risk zones”, more environments that work as fertilizer for growing issues. In the same time not everyone is on the same page with development of science, healthcare and increasing awareness around mental issues – many people are still stuck in the past, whole groups of people even, for different reasons, some just don’t take it seriously personally, some live in societies that in general don’t recognize some of the problems or have bad approach towards them.

I think many people heard something like “why are you depressed – just be happy 4Head”, probably 90% of men heard “be a man” mantra whenever they feel down etc. Personally I have to admit toxic masculinity being big part of our culture especially back in my childhood fostered some good ideals in my head about respecting women and taking responsibilities, while staying strong and pushing forward. But again I’m also lucky that if I even had some issues it wasn’t too bad and I actually managed to power through them by “being a man”, but not everyone is lucky, far from it unfortunately and for them such approach from people surrounding them might only do more damage. My main take on this is that we should “be a man”, but don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to ask for help, we shouldn’t be alone, no matter how strong you are – you can get even stronger with proper support. So there always should be a limit with this kind of “motivation”, don’t push people with actual issues far – you are not a doctor, you don’t know their situation, even when you think you do, you probably don’t know real extent. Try to talk with them, without any of that “be a man” bullshit, but main goal should be getting them to seek proper treatment.

Another problem obviously are people who just don’t acknowledge the existence of issues in general or thinking that person is just over exaggerating. First group are just very ignorant and daft people or just trolls and best is just to ignore them and remove them from your life if possible, because if they refuse to educate themselves or just want to troll, you probably won’t be able to change them. Second group I think can be saved and situation like yesterday is a wake up call for people like this to start taking things seriously and never assume that someone’s issues are not big enough, it’s better to be too cautious than deal with outcome.

These are things that we should work on, that we should try to improve , that we can improve on our own personal level at least, in our day to day life, in our communities etc.

Situation with Reckful was even more fucked up, because he actually was getting help – all kinds of help, many different professionals, various forms of therapy and literally 6 months ago he was saying that he’s happy finally, which only shows how unpredictable and dangerous it might be. You can be completely fine and then one day it just hits you out of nowhere, even if you are dealing with it for a while and think that you know your issues well – it’s a constant process of working on it and everyone around should also keep that in mind and support as much as possible. Another thing that Reckful showed really well is that mental issues aren’t discriminating – you can be really well off and accomplished in life, but still fight your inner demons and be completely unhappy.

And this is when last part comes in – idiots who were saying “you are rich, you can’t complain, try to live like me, that’s real depression”, I think I saw shit like this quite regularly. I’d put those people in group we already talked about before, but also new group – mean and/or toxic people, consciously and subconsciously, this particular example probably is more towards actually daft and ignorant people, but already has a bit of that toxic scent. Toxicity and edginess in my opinion could be one of the big reasons why yesterday’s tragedy happened – imagine getting a manic episode, doing something impulsive, posting on twitter, then coming back to senses and seeing a bunch of toxic answers including literally people telling you to kill yourself. That is something we need to address the most after yesterday, something we need to burn with napalm inside us and our communities and not only straight up people telling completely fucked up things, we need to go further, we need to try to be less mean towards each other, towards streamers. Your day was bad? Don’t go to some random chat and try to ruin someone else’s day. No success with girls? Don’t call them all thots and whores. All that won’t fix your problems, but it will make it worse for someone else. Of course we as people who work online develop some stone skin and we really need it a lot, so we are prepared for that, we know what we signed when we pressed “Start Streaming” button, but you never know when there will be that last straw that broke the camel’s back, when someone’s comment actually gets to you and you feel down, let’s not risk it and do it less. Even on casual level without ill intent you can make someone feel bad and it’s hard to keep all the possibilities in your head, hard to constantly process things like this, so maybe sometimes it’s better to avoid doing/saying something if you are not sure or try to make your intentions clear. You just want some friendly banter? At least post Kapp or something, but better try to think first if this banter is actually needed in the first place. People build those parasocial relationships with streamers frequently that make them feel that they are best bros and just assume that some friendly banter with your bro is fine, but forget that streamer most likely doesn’t feel that way. And while personally I’m quite resistant to mean shit and banter, I honestly rather have less of that stuff, because I want to build community based on respecting each other and being open for anyone to join without feeling that it’s some closed club of friends using their inside jokes and bantering all the time. No forced positivity and I’m always down for some deeper topics and discussions that might not be all about rainbows and butterflies, but let’s be more nice to each other at least and fight toxicity together, fostering different kind of community and promoting different values and vibes.

So to draw the line – take mental issues seriously, always, yours or someone’s, doesn’t matter, seek professional help or motivate others to do so, DO NOT mock or joke about that shit, there is always place and time for some jokes, if you are not sure if this is here and now, then better refrain from doing it and overall – let’s take some lessons from what happened, let’s be more nice and supportive to each other, we can’t return Reckful, but we can try to save others from following him and create more healthy environment for those who work in our sphere.

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