Elizabeth dear


#1

Well, that’s a first.

I wonder how many people say “I think I’ve got depression” as though it were a simple disease, like say mumps?


#2

Read: “I think I’ve found yet another way of evading responsibility for my habitual behaviour.”

I was only surprised she didn’t go for Bert with a letter knife.


#3

Ha! I said almost exactly that elseboard. With chicken pox as the affliction of choice.


#4

It would be a good thing if more people felt able to say it, rather than worrying that their friends would think they were Weird for having a Mental Illness. But Elizabeth doesn’t strike me as the sort to be thinking of things like that.


#5

It’s not admitting to the condition that issue is being taken with, it’s the peculiar turn of phrase.

Just imagine how much fun it will be when Snivelbeth has been in the system and spouts fluent psychobabble.

A nice hyoid fracture should sort that


#6

Here we go, I knew it would be there:

BBC Archers Home Page: “I think I may have depression”

I really hate the way they do issues. We’re back to Vanessa Whitburn days, the worst part of them.


#7

“Experiencing mental health problems for the first time can be frightening and confusing.”

Elizabeth is not experiencing mental health problems for the first time. She has been unbalanced for years, indeed for decades; it is just that this is the first time there has been nobody else there to dump them onto so that they suffered instead of her.


#8

Has she always been unbalanced? I just took her to be a not very nice, attention-seeking brat. If that was being unbalanced, it seemed to work pretty well for her. The problem right now is that no one is picking up the pieces for her.

Let’s say for the sake of argument she does have depression, because that’s the way it’s being written. OK, she’s a person with depression who is being horrible to everyone around her and blaming them as she always has been when things don’t go well for her. Being depressed hasn’t changed that aspect of Elizabeth any more than being abused changed Helen into a lovely person. In fact Helen was quite nasty to her family and friends during that time, as I recall.

I’m sure grief, depression and abuse happen to nice people as well, in fact I know it does. Just not so much in The Archers, though come to think of it, Jill and Bert weren’t vile to others when widowed nor was Clarrie nasty to anyone when she had a bit of a breakdown and ran away to Yarmouth.


#9

I think Elizabeth’s self-absorption and self-regard are well outside the mentally healthy norm, myself. And her tendency to self-threatening hysteria if things go against her has certainly been around all this century, very useful for pulling those around her back to heel if they show signs of thwarting her. She has twice worked herself up into a state in which she has been taken in to hospital as an emergency patient, on one occasion managing to stop her heart briefly by sheer ill-tempered shouting (or what in a four-year-old is called “a naughty tantrum”).

I don’t call that balanced behaviour.

In TA, they probably don’t realise that they give nasty things to happen to nasty people. The official line seems to be that Helen is sensitive and unfortunate rather than a grasping and ghastly predatory bully, and Elizabeth is not a selfish, cowardly homewrecker but on the contrary a brave and beautiful martyr.


#10

See what you mean about the emergency episodes. Most of the time she’s about as unbalanced as a fox, though, and it works beautifully for her. Children, mother, siblings, all treat her like a delicate flower. A brave and beautiful one of course. Ditto Helen.


#11

It occurs to me that she is not a fox; she is a remora.


#12

I think that counts as self-harm.


#13

What, running away from the Grundys? I’d call it self-preservation.


#14

Fair point–but I’ve been to Yarmouth…


#15

Well, yes. But even so. Better than Ambridge!