Everybody Has a Right to Be Depressed

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Terrell Owens, the flamboyant, highly paid Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, may or may not have tried to commit suicide after experiencing depression this week.

Clay Aiken, the flamboyant, highly paid “American Idol” runner-up, admitted he’s on medication as a result of depression this week.

In both cases, members of the media have felt compelled to self-righteously state that these people “have no right” to be depressed. After all, they’re rich and famous.

How stupid. How judgmental. And ultimately, how narrow these commentators must be to project their own desires and values on another person’s life.

Listen to what Dale Hansen, the sports director for WFAA-TV in Dallas, had to say about Owens.

When I watched this commentary, the hair on the back of my neck stood up — but I wasn’t sure exactly why.

Then I remembered that girl in high school; the pretty, smart, popular girl with whom I was friends — but wanted to be more.

One morning, she came to class and sat down in front of me. She looked sad; she seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. This girl represented all that I wanted at that time. So, for some reason, resentment built up in me when I saw her like this.

I said to her: “What do you have the right to be depressed about? Your life is perfect.”

She just looked at me and turned around, even sadder now.

Years later, I found out that her mother had been physically abusive to her. And that’s why I remember that little exchange so well to this day.

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About the author

Scott Baradell
Scott, president of Idea Grove, oversees one of the fastest-growing and most forward-looking public relations and inbound marketing agencies in the southwestern United States. Idea Grove focuses on helping technology companies reach media and buyers; and its clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 200 companies. Scott launched Idea Grove in 2005 along with his groundbreaking blog, Media Orchard. He has been a consistent innovator in the public relations and marketing space. Scott was among the first to understand the role of blogging in audience building. He was quick to recognize the vital importance of content quality and the power of social sharing. Most significantly, he developed a system that integrates public relations, content creation, social and search marketing, and conversion rate optimization into a program that produces hard-dollar results for clients.

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4 thoughts on “Everybody Has a Right to Be Depressed

  1. Joy Jennings

    Look at this story about the demands of the president of the Dallas Police Association for T.O. to apologize. I think sr. corporal Glenn White could use some media training. At the least.

    [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15050317/]

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  2. Make the logo bigger

    If anybody should apologize, shouldn’t it start with ESPN and the rest of the media?

    Nowhere in the press conference did I hear anything from the media after the fact that maybe, just maybe they were too zealous in the pursuit of a celebrity and a ‘non-story’ story. And Bob Ley on ESPN, c’mon. You’d think this was his big prime-time moment.

    Instead, they fell hook line and sinker for Kim’s (his PR person) teflon statement: “That’s not what I said. The police got it wrong.” Now the police look bad.

    Even TO came back on to bail her out by thanking the police.

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  3. Eric Eggertson

    Great story about the girl from high school. We think we know what other people are about, but we either don’t ask, or they’re not ready to tell.

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