We live in an ever growing world where technology, comedy, and social rise has bloomed, but with browning leaves. Acknowledgement of mental illness has never been better but it also brought about a strange and almost phenomenal problem; the glamorization of mental illness.
Glamorizing mental illness means to treat mental disorders lesser than is; to instead bring a desire to having a problem and promote an illness rather than display proper awareness.
I remember sitting in a classroom overhearing a conversation between a group of adolescents. They were discussing about serious topics and using potent words but not in the state of admittance or intellectual views, but instead in normal vocabulary.
“Dammit I forgot to do that assignment, I’m so depressed.”
“Seriously? Aren't you like OCD about turning things in on time?”
It was surreal to hear such synthetic normality on such extreme issues.
A large problem with watering down these disorders is not just that you are mocking people who have been medically diagnosed but you also generalize, justify, and simplify a disorder as a whole. There are many diagnoses and sub diagnoses within all categories. To claim yourself as being “depressed” because you are having a blue day or saying you are “bipolar” because you switched from having an unfading grin to chewing out your co worker only furthers the stigma of mental illness being a “CAUTION” sign for all. Statistics revealed that less than 1 percent of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia and manic- depressive illness (bipolar disorder) have actually possessed violent tendencies. To encourage misinformation will only make that fact harder to believe.
An even larger problem I see in society is the normality of self diagnoses. Society, whether it is teenagers or adults need to know that they are not qualified professionals and to say you are having a ‘mental breakdown’ because you forgot your hair tie is no quirky joke.
One thing I have not brought under the mic thoroughly is Social Media. Youtuber Savannah Brown said in her, “romanticization of mental illness” is to imagine a person who is facing the borderline realization of a true potential illness, they scroll through a social web and soon see that a majority of people are claiming their “depression” or have posted incredibly deceived imagery. This can have either one of two devastating effects. The person can either feel forced to, for lack of better words, “live with it” (since everyone apparently is), or instead they will feel discouraged enough to not say anything at all and avoid professional help.
Users in networks like Tumblr or Facebook tend to give off a promo to mental illness with aesthetic photography and poetic nonsense. For example, the pictures shown are disturbing common sights we see everyday.
I am going to end this educational rant on a favored quote by fellow blogger named, Sam West from The Crimson West.
“If you think you have a problem, go see a psychiatrist or counselor, don’t take it upon yourself to determine you have a certain disorder based on your own (probably incorrect) assumption about what it is.
Let’s stop with everyone being fashionably neurotic. Pretending to be sick doesn’t make you special.”