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Friday, July 10, 2009

UPDATE: I'm not laughing at your Prozac

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(Updated to include the response from the designer and more ranting from the blogger)

I sent the following letter to Lemania Indigo today. Shocker, she's having another hunt on her sims, but this time it's called The Prozac Hunt, and the language she uses in her marketing materials includes, "Will it be wild and crazy? We hope so!"

After you read it, go ahead and tell me to get a life if you want. But to me, trivializing a drug for something as serious and, yes, life-threatening as depression -- not to mention using "wild and crazy" in the context -- just hits a little too close to home for me. I'm angry.
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Dear Lemania,

I've shopped at your stores for more than a year and I've always admired your passion and your artistic vision.

However, I'm somewhat saddened and disturbed by the fact that you're having a Prozac Hunt this month.

I hesitated before writing this note because I consider myself to be someone with a decent sense of humor who also is capable of laughing at myself. Often if I find myself taking something frivolous a little too seriously, believe me, I'll bop myself on the head and tell myself to lighten up.

But speaking as someone who has at times suffered from crippling depression -- and someone who has lost a loved one to suicide as a result of depression -- it hurts me to see Prozac taken so lightly, even to the shocking extremes of cutesy little smiling pill capsules on your hunt poster.

Trust me when I tell you that many people who are on Prozac WOULD GIVE ANYTHING not to be on Prozac. We do not see it as a fun little pill that makes us happy. Frankly, some of the side effects can be hell. To many people, Prozac and similar antidepressants are the lifeline that keeps them from plummeting into a bottomless pit of despair. It's a medicine that helps suffering people live normal lives. There's nothing cute or funny about it.

I'm sorry for writing this note. You have every right to read it, roll your eyes and tell me to lighten up. But to me, having a Prozac hunt is just as offensive as if you were to have a Chemo Hunt (let's all look for cute little smiley IV bags!) or a "Sugar Daddy" insulin pump hunt.

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people. Your hunt tomorrow makes a mockery of one of its treatments.

Sincerely,
Emerald Wynn
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She replied with her own note saying that she too suffers from depression, and this hunt is a way of laughing at herself and saying "danged if we'll let it get us down!" She added that she's an extremely generous designer and she hopes her hunt gifts uplift people who may also be suffering.

That's great, Lemania. But your hunt prizes usually cost $1L.

So if you're going to use a serious illness as the theme for your dollarbie hunt, instead of "gifting us" with (I'm guessing) stock inventory that you need to clear out, how about donating the money from this hunt to an organization that supports people with depression?

Or how about at least including a fact sheet on depression and where to get help for it with your hunt prizes?

I sincerely doubt we'll see anything like that, but if we do, I'll be pleasantly surprised and the first to apologize.

As to her point of laughter, bravo to the people who can laugh in the face of their struggles. I know I try to. But to laugh or not to laugh at something as serious as depression should be a personal choice, not a public joke that we're all apparently expected to giggle along with. ("Oh, how cute! The blue pill has little flippers!")

Last year, a good friend of mine took his own life after years of battling depression. Drawing smiley faces on his medication just doesn't seem that hilarious to me right now, even if those pills do have big foofy gowns in them.

Tune in next month when Lemania has a breast lump hunt on her sim. Danged if we'll let breast cancer get us down!

(And YES, I admit that the fact that I got worked up over a Lemania Indigo hunt is a strong indicator that I need to walk away from my computer for a while.)

24 comments:

Aisuru Rieko said...

all I can really think of is *hug*

Emerald Wynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boudica Destiny said...

Emerald, just wanted to say THANK YOU for saying what you did and opening our eyes to an important topic. It's a very touchy subject, and not something to be made so lightly of. I am also blindingly tired of all the hunts they do on the Lemania sim, and it's a wonder that their shopkeepers make any money at all with all the free stuff they are required to give away in the hunts. Oh also wanted to say, I read your blog all the time and totally love your style - bitchy or not. Please keep it comin!

Emerald Wynn said...

Thank you, Boudica. It was just a small rant on my tiny stupid blog. I didn't realize it would get blown up into a big thing over on SCD, but I don't regret writing it.

Lizzie Lexington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizzie Lexington said...

Oh I have taken Prozac before, I have been depressed and I still did not find the Prozac Hunt offensive. This is MY interpretation of the Prozac hunt: You can keep popping the pills in the hopes that the pill alone will make you feel better. But you won’t truly feel better until you start really to work on improving your internal coping skills to deal with the hills and valleys of life. Please be aware this is just my opinion and if you disagree thats great. Cause if you only had people in your life who agreed with you or saw things only your way, wouldn’t life be a bit boring? For me disagreement is inevitable but if you look at it as growth experience vs conflict it may help you to open your eyes a bit to different thoughts and ideas. Okay, I shut up now.

Emerald Wynn said...

Hey thanks, Dr. Lizzie Lexington, for your deep insights on mental stability and your finely honed expertise on conflict.

The last time I checked, I wasn't screamin' for everyone to jump on my "Your Prozac Hunt Sucks" Train.

Go away.

Aimee said...

How about a dirty needle hunt? Surpise! You have HIV! Surprise! You have hepatitis! Some "humor" is just in plain bad taste.
Real depression is something more than getting your doctor to prescribe a few pills because you are a little down. I grew up with a mother who has struggled her whole life with this disease. And telling her to just develop better coping strategies to deal with the "hills and valleys" of life would be like telling someone with no legs to tap dance. Her brain chemistry is different and no amount of positive thinking or pep talks will change that.
The doctors who hand out antidepressants to anyone who says, "I'm feeling a little down lately" are the ones who contribute to the impressions people have that depression isn't serious or that people who suffer from it are just emotionally lazy or whatever. The brain is just another part of the body and it can get sick just like any other part.
And tasteless stupid decisions to name something as frivolous as a SL hunt after a medication many people depend on for treatment is just insensitive and immature. I'm eager to see what she comes up with next. The chemotherapy hunt! Yay! The insulin hunt! whoopee!

Lizzie Lexington said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emerald Wynn said...

I don't have a problem with people who want to argue with me (preferably in a mature manner) or express opposing opinions on this blog. Blogs are meant to be an expression of viewpoints and a forum for discussion. For that reason, I don't moderate comments.

People who argue with my readers, specifically by naming names, get deleted by the administrator, and that's me.

nimil said...

<3

Lemania Indigo said...

I see Emerald that you FORGOT TO POST MY PERSONAL RESPONSE TO YOUR NOTECARD THAT WAS PERSONAL. So for readers benefit here it is:

Emerald:

The good thing is I also have the ability to make fun of my own self -- I too along with many people who are my friends in here have suffered from and are suffering from drepression. I find it best to laugh at myself and what I deal with on a daily basis. We were not and are not making light of the condition of drepression - as a matter of fact we see what we have to share as our gifts as a way to lighten people from depression. I know that SL has done that many times for me.

If you know me at all you know I am a giving person here in SL and there are many causes I take pride in taking up here including cancer, blindness and veterans issues. This is not a slap in the face of people with depression (since I would be slapping myself). More of a way to say - yes we know we have it but danged if it will let us get us down.

Sorry it offended you but in no way was offense meant. I sincerely hope what we share as gifts does uplift those like us who do suffer.
::) -- DATED JULY 10th

Lemania Indigo said...

As to your comments about the 1L gifts -- THEY ARE NOT STOCK - never have been and are all created speciailly for each hunt. You are being mean, vicious and spiteful going above and beyond a simple protest about what I called my hunt. Cheap shots and negative comments which I take personally. You took my sincere response and threw it back in my face. Seems to me if you are on meds, you need a higher dosage.

SophHarlow said...

"Seems to me if you are on meds, you need a higher dosage."


Wow..just wow. Quite the classy comment. Yes, saying something about your work in SL deserved a comment about her well-being and how she suffers from something so serious. You can now say that her comments hurt you and that will make you what? Yeah...as bad as you think she is.

Lovely.

Lemania Indigo said...

No I won't apologize for the remark since what I sent as a response was "personal" and not meant to be shared with the whole world. I was sincere and apologized to her. I don't appreciate the fact that she took my words and twisted them up and spit them back. Classy, maybe not, but this whole issue which should have been between two people has not been treated with class on the whole.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Well, Lemania, maybe your "fans" need a higher dosage as well if they're so upset they might not get some $1L dress that they have to attack someone who suffers from the same thing you claim to suffer from?

Just my $2L on the matter.

Emerald Wynn said...

You know, I don't see anything in this blog post that is directly insulting Lemania or even twisting her words around.

I summed up her response in a short paragraph because this is MY BLOG.

The only slightly insulting thing I can see is my assumption that her hunt prizes were stock inventory.

And maybe my re-use of the word "danged." But hell, I used the word "bop," which is just as cheesy.

So basically Lemania is saying that simply because my opinion on the name and nature of her hunt differs from hers, I am "mean, vicious and spiteful."

And that's the problem with people these days, this "you are a horrible person because you don't agree with me" mentality.

It's frightening.

Boudica Destiny said...

It is frightening. I just found myself banned from the Lemania sim as well, because of the comment I left on this subject above saying I was tired of all the hunts and wondered how the shopkeepers there could make any money. Unlike all the freebie hunters, I do actually shop and help the SL economy by promoting great creators and businesses, and I was going to support a friend of mine who has a shop on that sim. I will not mention names for fear that they will be banned as well. But this is indeed out of balance and not kindly business practice.

Emerald Wynn said...

I am SHOCKED and I apologize to everyone who was brave enough to leave a comment here, as I have just found out that all of you have been banned from her sim. I had no idea she was going to ban everyone who commented here. I'm going to stoop to a new low now and flat-out say:

BITCH IS CRAZY.

Dear Lemania, have you never had anyone publicly express an opposing opinion to yours before, and is this how you treat everyone who DARES disagree with your point of view??????

Unbelievable.

stevii said...

What might have been a
"small rant on my tiny stupid blog" (self depreciation noted)has created a mine field...i too suffer from depression for all of my adult life,i too have lost family and friends to this debilitating disease.
In no way was i offended by the hunt/name/ the cute pictures ect..
The first steps to overcome depression is, accentuate the positive dwelling on something so trivial as a Sl treasure hunt means yes u do need to get back to real life..
I have read and re read your comments on Lemania and her hunts..and there was no need at all to be critical,and your reply to Lemania continued to be critical/personal
Lemania and Lestat inspire women in Sl they do awesome works on sl and no doubt real life ,as who we are in sl is really who we are in rl.
We as women should support each other,not tear each other apart.
You created this blog!
yes its your blog!
You are solely responsible for the words u write!
If someone criticized my best friend,i too would be hard pressed not to be angry and retaliate..and yes use words i don't often use!
Sometimes you might ask yourself why life hasn't been kinder?
You reap what you sew
The honorable thing to do because i am 100% sure this has been your main focal point the last week (sad really) is to remove the blog the comments and move on..
awaiting your sarcastic reply
stevii

Eliza Wrigglesworth said...

"I have read and re read your comments on Lemania and her hunts.."

"The first steps to overcome depression is, accentuate the positive dwelling on something so trivial as a Sl treasure hunt means yes u do need to get back to real life.."

u r funny, heheeee

Emerald Wynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emerald Wynn said...

@ stevii -

The last time I checked, I wasn't dwelling on this ridiculous hunt. I was at Lemania's sim picking up one of her daily dollarbies when I saw the absolutely idiotic poster. I felt that the stupid little animals and scattered prescription bottles all over the place mocked the seriousness of the condition. I wrote a blog post about it. Sure there was a need to be critical. She hosted a public event. As a member of the public, I have a right to express my opinions about it. The End.

The people who have SPAZZED OUT over this issue for two weeks are the ones who are dwelling on it. Lemania, who is banning everyone who comments in my favor on this blog, is overreacting and dwelling on it. And her business partner, who sent me one of the most vicious notes I've received in Second Life, is a scary bitch who obviously doesn't know how to handle opposing opinions in a mature manner.

The only sarcastic thing I'm going to say about your comment is that this is a blog, not a text message. If you have something to say, try using complete words and punctuation next time. Unless you can't spell the word "you." And speaking of spelling, the word is "sow."

M. Holmer said...

Good afternoon

First of all I want to clarify I am not here to attack you, and that it tokes me many days to decide to post here this comment.
Second, I am not an English native speaker, so I apologise if my English is not the best.
As a person who has been dealing with a serious disease I feel quite comfortable to tell what I am going to say.
I lost my mom at the age of 12 to a C**er (no this is not a vocabulary problem, it’s me not able to spell its name) to discover 4 years after I had been rewarded with the same prize. For 10 years now I’ve been fighting this thing, sometimes I can face it better others I don’t and it takes me to depression. Although, I had never been on Prozac, I take so many drugs daily that someone could say I am a addicted .
When I landed in Lemania’s sim and saw the Prozac hunt I found it very funny, and I just had a though: “what a fantastic way of looking at this problem.” You should consider that, two people can look at the same thing and see it different, and u may say it’s easy for me finding it funny because I am not on Prozac, but you will be wrong and I explain you why. Some days ago we had in Sl the bandana day, although, I have tons of bandanas in my inventory and one of my favourite hairstyles has a bandana on it , I decided don’t wear the bandana on that day, and I tell you why, again, I don’t know if this idea cames from someone who already lost hers/his hair, but I know how hard it was for me when I lost my hair, I don’t want to make a commemoration on it, I wish I could forget. It’s evident if this person has in common with me the same disease we have different ways of dealing with it. On another hand, if the idea came from someone who just wanted to show solidarity, I don’t think it is the best way, but I am sure the intention was the best because I can’t believe someone would be so evil to joke about this. So, as I said I chose not to join this day , but I didn’t go on writing posts or telling anything against the person who had the idea.
You say, you just gave an opinion, and expressed your feelings about the Prozac hunt. But, in my opinion, you did much more than it, you opened a war. I saw some comments here from people tanking you for had lighted their minds, meaning that, till the moment they saw your post they just looked at the hunt as it was, a simple, usual hunt. If you wanted to express your opinion only, you could had done it and closed comments, after all as you say, it’s your blog and you do what you want. As you criticise Lemania for banning people from hers sim while you delete comments, and as you exposed a letter (not nice at all, I must say) hers busyness partner sent to you, quite offended with hers rude language and you end calling Lemania of Bitch… you should be more coherent.
I don’t think looking at the things trying to find it’s bad side will help your depression and make your life easer…. Sometimes, why just don’t look at things and appreciate them? After all, Rlife is short and Sl should be a place where we could forget all the drama and monsters of our Rlife.

Best regards