We speak with psychologists who note that such imagery mocks the discourse about mental health a day after a T-shirt with the picture of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput sparked the hashtag #BoycottFlipKart on Twitter.
When admirers of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput criticised a T-shirt with the message "Depression is like drowning," the hashtag #BoycottFlipkart was created on Twitter. Psychologists have called it a parody and "insensitive imagery," which has sparked a bigger discussion about mental health.
According to Natasha Mehta, a senior counselling psychologist from Mumbai, "such misinformation and disinformation can exacerbate the mental health issues making it more difficult for people to reach out for help." She adds that "such a thing needs to be corrected publicly, through an apology or by calling out, or else it will continue to exist on one platform or the other."
Rajput was discovered hanged at his Mumbai apartment in 2020. His death, which was officially ruled a suicide, gave rise to a number of hypotheses, which prompted an inquiry when his family filed a police report (FIR) charging actor Rhea Chakraborty and her family with, among other things, aiding in suicide.
Many of his followers criticised the platform on social media, calling it "cheap and callous marketing," and some questioned why his photo was used without his family's consent.
In fact, his followers acknowledge that such imagery impacts them personally in addition to bringing up unpleasant memories. "The T-shirt complements Sushant's appearance beautifully. But the phrases about sadness are the only thing that genuinely makes me feel horrible. Rohit Lakhendra Thakur, the head of a fan group for the actor, questions why it was necessary to place it there.
"My query to Flipkart is why they come up with this T-shirt," reads another. What was the underlying concept. It merely hurts people's feelings. Specifically, one Instagram user stated, "Family must take a significant measure immediately against this shameful behaviour... It is slander. They ought to apologise to SSR's family and supporters.
Psychotherapist Divya Singh remarks, when asked about the effects of the "careless" messaging in the sake of fashion, "His suicide is still fresh into the hearts and thoughts of so many of his admirers... Additionally, celebrity suicide can cause other deaths. The T-shirt debate continues by stating that mental health is poorly understood in our society and that the fallout from such occurrences can affect the emotional wellbeing of people who are dealing with mental illness.
Under top of that, a psychologist from Mumbai says, on condition of anonymity, "Such message is clearly not good since it invades the privacy of the person," and that it is detrimental to the narrative surrounding mental health because it furthers the romanticization of mental health. This further strengthens.
The t-shirt has now been taken off from the internet store's webpage. They responded to our attempts to contact them by saying, "As a marketplace platform, we make it possible for vendors to interact with buyers all across the nation. Maintaining the calibre, suitability, and sensitivity of items offered on the platform is our primary goal as part of our "customer first" strategy. As a result, we have removed the product/T-shirt that customers complained about because it depicted a sensitive problem.