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Marina Joyce’s “Publicity Stunt” Was A Cry For Help

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Marina Joyce is a YouTuber from London who vlogs primarily about fashion. Two days ago, we didn’t know her name, but when it was brought to our attention that she could be in serious trouble, we spent the whole night worrying for her safety and analyzing every piece of evidence we could find.

#SaveMarinaJoyce started trending July 26 after weeks of fans noticing that their favorite vlogger was acting unlike herself. A video by YouTuber touchdalight quickly began to spread, analyzing scenes from Marina’s videos to explain how he thought she was in serious danger. In some scenes she has bruises on unusual places like the backs of her arms, leading to the belief that she is being abused by a boyfriend or romantic partner. This belief was furthered by the on-camera appearance of a finger, pointing Marina where to stand and a brief clip where it’s believed you can hear Marina saying “Help me,” behind background music. The idea that Marina was on drugs was also quickly suggested, as she could never seem to stay focused and was often repeating herself multiple times within very short time periods. Another thing that led to fans’ concerns was a comment saying something along the lines of “put a cat emoji in your bio if you’re in danger” and within a short period of time, there was a cat emoji put in her bio.

After hours of the Internet going into a frenzy, trying to figure out how much danger Marina was in and if there was anything they could do to help, the Enfield Police tweeted that Marina was safe and well, but this did not do much to reassure fans. Even after a livestream from Marina and her mother, claiming that she was fine, fans still worried.

Now, around 48 hours after the incident’s peak, we seem to have settled on one of two possibilities: either this whole thing is a publicity stunt—Marina has gained around 500,000 subscribers—or Marina is suffering from a mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The latter seems to be the most likely explanation, and it makes the most sense, too. If Marina’s mental illness was causing her to truly believe she was in danger, fans would believe it, too. Abuse of prescription drugs—whether it be taking the wrong doses or not taking them at all—could explain Marina’s drastic change in behavior, and in the livestream Marina’s mother claimed to be the person helping her with the camera. If Marina was unable to film and edit videos on her own but still wanted to make videos for her subscribers, it makes sense that her mother would offer to help. And finally, the bruises can be explained in that often times schizophrenics are prone to self-harm without even realizing it or meaning to.

The possibility of Marina suffering from schizophrenia or another mental illness seems to be high, which should’ve helped some of her worried fans to rest easier, knowing that she is not in danger at the hands of another person and is most likely being treated for her illness, but it seems to be doing the opposite. Now that we have a probable answer to Marina’s mystery, people are irritated.

People that were formerly worried about Marina are getting bored, now that they know it isn’t some horror story. People are shrugging off the fact that Marina could be suffering from schizophrenia, upset that they didn’t get to solve some twisted mystery in which Marina is being tortured and abused. Though it was no secret that people romanticize abuse and disregard mental health, Marina’s case is further proof of just how far these things can go. When it was thought that Marina was being threatened and hurt, everyone was doing everything they could to spread awareness and potentially save her, but when it was found out that Marina was never in danger, people got angry. The people that created theories and ultimately blew the whole incident out of proportion are the same people angry that Marina isn’t being abused, annoyed that she is suffering from a mental disorder. While this was to be expected, it is still frustrating that the possibility of her being mentally ill is seen as “annoying”. Schizophrenia is quite possibly one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses there is and does not receive as much public attention as it deserves. Due to the already existing stigmas surrounding the disorder and the negative fan responses, if Marina truly does suffer from schizophrenia, she could be in a lot more danger now than she previously was.

If schizophrenia is the explanation to the Marina Joyce mystery, and she was already feeling skeptical about her safety before the whole incident, it is likely that the hate she is beginning to receive and the negative responses to her mental illness could make things harder for Marina. While we are still unsure exactly what is happening with and to Marina, it is very clear that something is wrong, and we should be ready to offer her our complete support no matter what it is. She claims that she is safe, and while she might not be, it is important to remind ourselves that no matter what she is going through, she deserves to get help.

If she is in a dangerous situation with a friend, partner or family member, she deserves to get out of it safely without the Internet butting in, obsessing over conspiracy theories about her situation. And if she is struggling with a mental illness such as schizophrenia, she deserves to receive help and treatment without backlash or hate.

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