Death of Whitney Houston: Where's the Compassion?

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

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Death of Whitney Houston: Where's the Compassion?

Whitney HoustonThe news of Whitney Houston's unfortunate death hardly hit the Internet news sites Saturday evening before the "haters" came out on the social networks with their "Whitney Houston got what she deserved" comments. They were referring to the fact that Whitney Houston was a drug addict and because of that, her death from drug-related problems not only weren't unexpected, but she caused her own death. Why should anyone feel sorry for her? (Read: Whitney Houston's Death and Addiction Stigma)

At first, I was saddened by the response. Then appalled.

Now, with a few days to reflect on those responses to Whitney's death, I see a parallel between those comments and the basis of the stigma against mental illness.

In one camp, we have people who believe that addiction (or mental illness) is a moral failure, a character flaw. There's hope, that with education, this group can see things differently. In group two, we have those who are biased against people who are different and who they see as a threat to their ideals and way of life; similar to bigots. There's no easy solution for this group.

In either case, what struck me as inherently sad, was the lack of compassion for a human being that had died.

Articles on Mental Illness Stigma and Addiction


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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2012, February 17). Death of Whitney Houston: Where's the Compassion?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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