This post is not about Bruce Springsteen or his disclosure of depression. However, I was inspired to write this post because I read an article by Alex Lubet, Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota, that addresses the fact Bruce Springsteen is battling depression. At first, I thought the article would contain little more than a detailed list of other famous people who have also battled depression by seeking help or self medicating with drugs and alcohol. Thankfully there was much more to the article than a long list.
Although Lubet, mentions Springsteen’s disclosure is “arguably unique because his image runs counter to stereotypes of depression,” the article mostly describes the stereotype of mental illness and damage caused by the stereotype. For example, Lubet tells us the media has reinforced negative stereotypes of people with mental illness, often depicting them as “inadequate, unlikable, dangerous” and absent a “social identity: single or of unknown marital status, frequently without identifiable employment, confused, aggressive, and unpredictable.”
After reviewing a number of studies on stigma and mental illness, a group of psychiatrists reported most mental illness is not treated due to a poor knowledge of symptoms and treatment. The scientists concluded by stating prejudice and fear of discrimination are major factor in not seeking treatment.