Earlier this month, The Real Housewives of Orange County viewers saw Tamra Judge fear that her son might die by suicide.
Her husband, Eddie (who is not Ryan’s father), came across as harsh and unsympathetic while speaking to the camera.
After suggesting that Ryan Veith might need a metaphorical kick in the butt, Eddie seemed to dismiss his mental health struggles.
“When you’re struggling with childhood issues as a man, you’re not a man,” Eddie told the camera of the 33-year-old Ryan.
Tamra’s eldest child is a famously troubled person, from his abhorrent and bigoted statements to an alarming criminal history.
Ryan’s self-esteem is low. He had confessed to his mother and to a therapist that he felt worthless. Is Eddie unmoved by this?
“Time to move on… just because you see it on TV doesn’t mean it’s real!” Eddie writes without context on Instagram this week.
“I’m happy that most of you understand this,” Judge continues. “And those that do not, you need to learn how it works.”
“Reality TV is not Reality,” Eddie argues.
Eddie, 46, married Tamra, 52, in 2013. He points out: “These shows are designed to get maximum reaction from the viewers.”
“Has anyone reached out to a villain on a TV show,” Eddie begins to ask.
He continues: “And messaged him/her what a piece of shit he/she is because of what they saw that person do or say to someone else on that show?”
“Oh yeah, no,” Eddie answers. “Because someone wrote that script.”
“Well, someone writes the script on reality TV,” he claims. “Just not exactly the same way a scripted show is produced.”
“I stand behind what I said and never did I say that people with a mental illness need to man up,” Eddie insists.
“I understand mental illness,” he writes. “I also understand when someone uses mental illness as an scapegoat.”
“Ryan is not mentally ill and he is not using it as an scapegoat,” Eddie claims, clarifying his position on his stepson.
“He is struggling with life,” Eddie says, stating the obvious. “And, you don’t have to be mentally ill to feel depressed.”
Depression is literally mental illness, my dude.
“However, the TV show will figure out how to get max reaction by editing a touching moment in such a way to get you to watch for more,” he writes.
“If they do not, then we have no show,” Eddie concludes. “Get it? The end!”
As we mentioned, depression is absolutely a mental illness. It’s a brain disorder.
That seems to indicate that Eddie is either deeply ignorant about mental health or willfully playing word games.
While Ryan is struggling with life, part of that struggle stems from mental illness.
However, depression and self-loathing may be factors in Ryan’s behavior, but they do not excuse his actions or his statements.
As you can tell by the Betsy Ross cosplay that Ryan decided to wear on camera, he is struggling with a number of issues.
But neither his domestic violence arrest nor his outspoken support for Donald Trump are excused by his mental health.
If Eddie had argued that Ryan was refusing to take accountability for his actions and was therefore scapegoating plenty of decent people with mental illness, we would agree.
Instead, Eddie decided to make unsubstantiated claims about Ryan’s mental state and doubled down upon his unsympathetic words. Not cool.
It is entirely possible to hold Ryan accountable and to understand how his mental health and childhood impact his adult life at the same time.