These attacks have a self-perpetuating nature to them, and are only likely to get worse. And all they do is spread the false notion that either of the Cruzes has something to be ashamed about — and that, by extension, other people dealing with mental illness do, too.
Cruz herself has decided she doesn’t want to talk about what she went through. According to a source close to her, Coppins and Apper wrote, she “was not ashamed to talk about her experience… [but] ultimately decided against it because she didn’t want to minimize the struggle of those who suffer from depression their entire lives by trumpeting her own happy ending.”
She has every right to make that decision for herself — no one is obligated to be a spokesperson — but it’s still profoundly important for stories like hers to come out, for people to simply know that the wife of a presidential candidate dealt with this sort of challenge, isn’t ashamed of it, and has continued to live a rewarding life — and to see that most other people aren’t reacting with horror or disgust. That anyone would weaponize Heidi Cruz’s mental-health problems suggests we have a long way to go before we defeat the stigmatization of mental illness, and it does very real harm to people who are suffering.