Is it Wrong to Use the So-Called ‘Headclutching’ Photos and the Word Suffering When Writing About Depression?


To ensure that me to drive visitors to my weblog, I’ve been tweeting for a while with the deal with of @allevin18. Just lately, a follower with an enormous following retweeted certainly one of my tweets. That all the time will get me fairly excited, as it would ideally get me extra followers on Twitter and at the identical time hopefully convey a bigger following to this weblog. I requested this follower if he would thoughts tweeting my “Pinned Tweet”, as properly, explaining how I used to be making an attempt to get extra followers to my weblog. I used to be shocked at his response, which was that he usually doesn’t ahead tweets that embody the so-called “Head-clutching” pictures.

Though I had by no means heard the time period, I knew precisely what he was referring to. I had learn in lots of articles describing strategies to enhance followers on Twitter that it was essential to embody pictures. I instantly started to search pictures for melancholy and a lot of them included pictures of males with their head clasped between their fingers, displaying a way of agony or ache or frustration.

When I despatched a personal message to the follower, I instructed him that I used to be curious to have a greater understanding on why these pictures weren’t smart to use. He directed me to an article titled, “Saying Goodbye to ‘Headclutcher’ Photos” by Rethink Psychological Sickness. The article describes the important downside with the pictures being that they,

“…are stigmatising. They present us a stereotype of an individual with psychological sickness – that they’re in perpetual despair, remoted and with out hope. And whereas it is true that generally an individual with a psychological well being downside may clutch their head, that’s additionally true of anybody, psychological sickness or not.”
Whereas I very a lot respect the follower who I used to be speaking with on the matter and I respect and consider strongly in the work of the organizations concerned in the campaigns, I’ve an opinion on “headclutching” pictures that will not be utterly aligned with their ideas.

First, I’ve to admit that for concern of offending anyone, I instantly eliminated all of the “headclutching” pictures from my library of pictures and started to use different pictures. Nevertheless, I continued to learn extra and mirror extra on the matter. I might not, for instance, use a photograph of a matted panhandler. I consider this might be stereotyping a sort of individual. The “headclutching” pictures have a tendency to stereoptype a sense or an emotion. Whereas I don’t want to paint the image that everyone who has melancholy is at a degree wherein they would constantly be clutching their head, there actually are instances wherein the feeling that the pictures convey is sort of correct. So, if one features a picture of somebody smiling, does that imply that folks with melancholy are all the time smiling (or probably masking their melancholy)? If it is image of a giant man, does that imply that we’re stereotyping that solely massive males get melancholy? If it’s an image of a black man, are we saying that solely black males have melancholy? Whereas I used to be working by means of my main depressive dysfunction, a “headclutching” picture would have precisely depicted how I used to be feeling.

The identical goes for the phrase “undergo” that many advocates really feel we must always not use when discussing the matter of melancholy or describing somebody with melancholy. Whereas I perceive very properly that we’d not need to go away the inaccurate impression that folks with melancholy are in a continuing state of struggling, I additionally consider that there are occasions wherein folks with melancholy are struggling and to not use the phrase may very properly diminish the quantity of anguish and struggles that the individual could also be going by means of. If anyone instructed me that I didn’t undergo after I was battling a bout of main melancholy, they’re utterly mistaken. I might agree that we must always state that an individual “resides with melancholy”, as many advocates now suggest. Nevertheless, if the individual is presently out of labor due to a significant episode, I consider it is okay to describe the individual as, “presently affected by melancholy”. So, typically, folks “stay with melancholy”. Nevertheless, at instances, they clearly could also be “struggling” from melancholy.

So far as “headclutching” pictures, my perception is that we’d like to embody a wide range of pictures; pictures of individuals of various ethnicities, totally different genders (though, in my case, I usually use photos of males, as that may be a massive focus of the advocating I do), totally different expressions, totally different sizes, dressed in another way, and so forth.

Individuals who stay with melancholy actually don’t undergo or battle (or clutch their head between their fingers) all all through their lives. I might not need to mistakenly give that impression to others. If we use the phrase “undergo” we must always make certain that it is particularly referring to a second in time. Whereas I consider there are rather more important conversations to be having round psychological sickness, I do consider how we painting psychological sickness and the language we use is essential.

Thanks for taking the time to learn this submit. As all the time, I encourage folks to touch upon this submit and/or some other posts of mine.

This submit was beforehand revealed on and is republished right here with permission from the writer.

Picture credit score: Shutterstock


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