Tony Hsieh’s Madness Deserved Better

The entrepreneur’s death highlights society’s role

The way we talk about his madness matters.

Social norms are powerful, sometimes dangerous, and are perpetuated in our private homes but also in mass media and on our screens and personal devices.

These attitudes make it difficult for any person — multimillionaire or not — to open up about mental health challenges. Leaders, entrepreneurs, writers, and politicians don’t want to be associated with violence and criminality. Nobody wants that. And yet that is the very box we have put madness into.

People need to feel seen and understood and not judged; and they need to feel like their community will wait for them to get to the other side.

Author, Divergent Mind (HarperCollins). Journalist at UC Berkeley & Garrison. Founder, The Neurodiversity Project.

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