03 September 2009


I don't usually do dual posts. Okay, sometimes, I do...but most of the time, they are intentional. Today though, it is not.

About an hour after I posted my last post, I discovered that Maia Campbell was on the Trending Topics list on Twitter. (For those non-Twitterers, a Trending Topic is a theme of discussion on the popular social networking site, Twitter.com). Anyway, it appears as though a YouTube (and HoodTube) video was released on the internet, which showed Maia Campbell visibly angry, disoriented, and lashing out at the "cameraman" who was clearly picking fun of her for nearly 7 minutes.

Stop. Let's rewind a bit, shall we?

Who is Maia Campbell, you ask?

Remember the sitcom, "In the House" with LLCoolJ and Debbie Allen? She was the long-haired pretty and popular high school teenager on that show. Some years later, it is rumored and "confirmed" that Campbell does drugs.
Here is the issue that most people don't/didn't know:

While it is true that Campbell does drugs, this is what people don't understand. Maia has an illness. A mental illness. She is Manic Depressive. That, in so many words, is the equivalent of her being Bipolar. What this means is....unlike the run-of-the-mill strung out person on drugs, she CAN NOT just "stop herself and get herself out of the trouble she caused" and other hoopla I've seen spread and dispersed like wildfire over the Twittersphere. Because she has a mental illness, she LITERALLY can't control her own life and "make her life change for the better" and blah blah. No. She is mentally ill. She needs help. Professional help.

"But what about her taking medication?"

That is the other thing, folks. While I am not at all a psychologist, I do know a bit about psychotic disorders and I am very well-versed on the effects of Manic Depression. With Manic Depression, the mind goes through extreme mood swings that literally go from a "manic" (extremely happy, gallant state) to extreme depression (so down, suicide is considered state). Medication, though is triggered to help the person with this issue usually has some TERRIBLE side effects. Side effects so terrible, the Manic Depressive person can literally opt out all together from taking their meds because the side effects are just too much for them to bear (some side effects are actually periods of EXTREME Manic Depression until the body adjusts to the medication and there is no telling just how long that transitional period lasts).

Enter Maia's Introduction to Drugs

Maia knows she isnt feeling "like herself" and she is well aware that she is "out of mind" or however you want to term it. But those meds? You can [almost] forget it. To a person with Manic Depression, those medications may feel like you're going "crazier". But drugs? Drugs, just like alcohol, allieviate you of your mindstate and make you feel "better" about yourself and your surroundings. This is why drugs (and alcohol) are so addictive. The "feel good" factor is something EVERYONE who has ever been tipsy, drunk, high, etc can relate to. Maia knows she needs help but the help that is offered to her makes her feel worse. The "natural" reaction is to turn to drugs--a stimulant that makes a person feel better temporarily. Once it wears off though and reality kicks in? She's back to feeling manic or extremely depressed...and she can't get out of it. Thus an addiction so that that "feel good" factor doesn't wear off so easily is birthed. She needs help. Professional help.

So stop.

Just stop with the the jokes and making her a hit on the Trending Topics list. It isn't funny. Stop with the assumptions on what you think you know about her situation. She may have "done this to herself" as far as doing drugs goes, but if you REALLY think about/educate yourself on/take a minute to let it all sink in.......she literally can't help herself. She needs help.

When you are out of mind, you are literally not responsible for your actions. Period.

I advise people to read a very good book by my favorite author, her mother, Bebe Moore-Campbell. Her mother died in 2006, a day after Maia's 30th birthday of a brain tumor/cancer. Before she died, however, she penned many a novel and is a GREAT author. The book I advise yall to pick up and read is: "72 Hour Hold". It's a fictional tale about a mother and her relationship with her daughter that has Bipolar Disorder (later termed "Manic Depression"). This book is also closely related to her relationship with her daughter. I read somewhere that it is that relationship that gave her the inspiration needed to write the book.

To learn more about Manic Depression, click here...


Anonymous said...

I had no idea she was mentally ill. I thought it was the death of her mother that sent her over the edge into drug abuse.

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

We'll have to keep Maia in our prayers, no one should have to suffer like that.

Petula said...

I happened to stumble over here after "borrowing" the image/poster you used on your sadness post last year. I listened to your Erika Badu rendition (AWESOME!) and decided to see what you're currently writing about.

This is an excellent post. I had no idea what happened to that young lady. I remember her from the show and didn't know this was going on. I learned a lot. I didn't know Bebe Moore-Campbell was her mother or that she died. Wow.

This is really well written and beautifully expressed. It's a shame how people jump to conclusions based on the little they hear in the media.

Ms_Slim said...

Connie3- Yea she's had this illness since she was a teenager--waay before her mother passed. It may have gotten worse after her mother died though.

CG: I agree. I can't imagine what this is like. I can only pray for the individual

Petual: Thank you so much! Im glad you enjoyed! :) People really do jump to conclusions and on this day, it was ridiculous on Twitter. I felt COMPELLED to say something. Anything. Im glad people are appreciating these words I wrote though. Maybe folk will have a better understanding of whats been going on with her...