With social media being such a big thing now, teenagers are sharing memes about mental illness, and some even self-diagnosing themselves with depression to be “quirky”. I was diagnosed with a mental illness at the age of 16. Unfortunately, these archetypes played upon a certain, flawed association that we make in contemporary society: that discontent is the same as depression. ( Log Out /  Most people are not even aware that they might be spreading a negative message and there isn’t much we can do. illness in ways that is creating a new set of challenges for those experiencing severe mental illness. have all been addressed to some degree, remnants of our society’s overall dismissal of the validity of mental illness have evolved (rather than rejected), as our relationship with mental illness has developed. What makes this scenario even scarier is the great romanticization created towards the healing process. Having a mental illness doesn’t make you ‘quirky’ or ‘have an interesting personality’. People merchandising it is kind of sick. Tumblr, a social media site that allows users to blog and express themselves, often fetishizes mental illness. The romanticism of mental illness hurts people who actually suffer from a mental illness. In our society, mental illness has become “romantic,” “edgy,” and “trendy.” Because of mental illness’ stigma in our society today, what people actually know about it is very limited. It just makes you hurt. With everything being more transparent on social media, some influencers are also being transparent about what they have suffered from. So now that it’s the 21st Century, what has changed? But we can control our thoughts and actions. And that is dangerously tragic in itself. We can’t control what the media portrays, nor can we control what people post and share, and we cannot stop people from profiting off it. Social media is particularly awful in creating this distorted image of mental health that is sometimes appealing to people, making it an ‘aesthetic’. Enter: the “sad boy” archetype. Article updated on April 10, 2020. For example, with Corinna Kopf’s anxiety merch, she starting a clothing line promoted to people who suffer from an anxiety disorder. Social media has become a platform for young people to express themselves and connect with their peers, but it has also become a hub for romanticizing mental illness. The mental health space can be difficult for many people to understand. More “likes”. ... Latest developments such as social media can be useful ways of communicating with others to help overpower the struggles they can cause and allows people to come together and support each other which can be an important contribution to a person's recovery. A lot … Editor’s Note: The following post contains spoilers for the movies mentioned. Yet, not once throughout the hole first season mental illness is even mentioned. With influencers producing merch that uses mental illness to gain profit. Many are drawn to the tragic stories of those who suffer from mental illness, who are accompanied by their loving, understanding, and supportive partners. Article updated on April 10, 2020. Many years ago mental illnesses were a taboo topic that was rarely discussed and those who suffered were misunderstood. Whether you’re someone struggling, a friend trying to understand, a teacher wondering how to introduce your lesson, a doctor trying to decide on a diagnosis or simply a campaigner trying to reduce stigma, it … We need to stop propagating romantic and glorified images of people battling apparently ‘beautiful’ illnesses. Suddenly, mental illness was seen as beautiful. In recent years it has become more and more of a trend to have a mental illness. Basically, they’re being portrayed as more intelligent because they are sad. The other 75% is going straight to her bank accounts and for her to spend. Have they experienced these illnesses? To examine the confusion over mental illness, let’s pick apart one of the aforementioned examples of brilliant authors committing suicide, namely, Plath. She is collecting way more for herself than actually helping and donating. What romanticisation does is that it creates a glamorous and fancy portrayal of mental illness. It’s not something that can be easily fixed or suddenly disappear, and although 21st-century media is steadily becoming more open-minded and realistic in its portrayal and understanding of mental health, there’s still stigma surrounding mental disorders. I’m not trying to say everyone is like this, but more and more people are. Unlike Hannah, if someone suicides they don’t get to see the effects it has of the ones that wronged them. If you notice derogatory and stigmatizing language in the media, you can be the person to contact the news station or journalist and let them know. With many influencers having a massive platform, they can do much better than making t-shirts and hoodies. Our Media Advisory Service works with journalists, script writers and other media professionals to help ensure fictional and factual portrayals of people with mental health problems in the media are accurate and sensitive. People in media need to start thinking about what they are portraying and ask themselves whether they are spreading awareness or if they are unintentionally having a negative influence on their viewers. What Is “Relationship OCD” & How Can You Tell If You Have It, Psychotherapy’s Got an Unpleasant Image Problem, Mental Health Carnage: the Relentless Misunderstanding of Autistic Persons. But with mainstream media, more and more people feel like having a mental illness is a norm. 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