Now-a-days mental illness is romanticized in movies, television shows, and on social media. It makes people believe that to recover from mental illness you need to find a partner that will save you. Somehow “stop the stigma” turned into “romanticize mental illness”, and this need to stop. It has gotten to the point where mental health problems have become desirable. In all honestly, mental disorders destroy lives. It is not tragically beautiful to be mentally ill. There is a fine line between having a partner that can help you along the way than someone who will save you. The reason many young people have become confused is because of all the online content. I constantly see pictures of people mainly women, crying or self-harming with a romantic quote.
Here are some examples of what I have seen:
Not only that, but I have overheard conversations from people literally competing between each other on who has it worse. It’s as if they are glorifying their mental health problems. It saddens me to say, but even suicide is starting to be seen as a graceful way out. The further this notion is hyped; the more people will see it as a valid possibility. Mental illness is not a badge of honor and self-diagnosing just adds to the prejudice and discrimination.
A big contributing factor is that people are using mental illness as adjectives. For example, “I’m so depressed because I couldn’t go to the movies yesterday”. Instead of saying, “I felt sad because I couldn’t go to the movies yesterday”. Using mental disorders as an explanation for everyday hardships takes away the validity of those who actually have it. Just because you are organized doesn’t mean you have OCD. If you skip breakfast doesn’t mean your anorexic. If you feel moody doesn’t mean you bipolar. If you voluntarily go to sleep late doesn’t mean you have insomnia. By doing so means you know little about mental disorders.
Mental illness is not appealing, charming, delightful, or stunning. The truth is its sorrow, pain, hopelessness, emptiness, low self-esteem, and suffering. It’s wanting to die. It’s forgetting what happiness is. Being mentally ill makes you live life like a zombie, emotionless and at times too much emotions. There is nothing fascinating about it.
As a society we need to stop romanticizing mental illness because this will feed into the stigma. It’s covering up the fact that there is a problem and by doing so we are encouraging it. By allowing this we validate self-destructive behaviors. We teach people that tragedy is beautiful. This mostly affects teenagers, they tend to use mental illness like an aesthetic and even though it may seem like a “healthy” outlet for them to express their emotions. It’s just teaching them the wrong message, adding to the confusion. Romanticizing mental illness lets us create fantasies in our mind, not allowing us the face the problem straight forward. It teaches us to not seek help or look for treatment. Do you agree with this article? What are other examples of “romanticizing mental illness” have you seen? Let me know in the comment section below.
Did you know Psych2Go has a book about Mental Illness Recovery?
Check it out here: Mental Illness Recovery Book, “Something I truly enjoyed about this book is the simplicity and the variety of stories which are all focusing in one subject; mental illness. It’s amazing to see how this book connects each story to one another and to the reader. It provides a direct insight of living with mental illness and tips on how to overcome some disorders. If you feel lost, or if you want to help a friend or family member then this is the book for you.” -Carelyn
Checkout Psych2Go’s Latest video on depression: