Warning: This article talks about mental illnesses and disorders. It also talks about how society is using mental health as their new trend for people to feel special. This article is aimed at the people wanting a mental illness/disorder to be trendy, from those who have suffered or suffer with a mental illness/disorder. If you believe this could trigger you or upset you, please skip this article or read with caution.
Society nowadays is constantly trying to find new ways of making people stand out. And, unfortunately, Mental Illness is one of the options people take….
For those facing real mental health problems, it’s a kick in the teeth.
Here are some very popular things I, and people who have spoken to us, have heard from some mentally healthy people.
Comments about OCD:
I’m so OCD. I have to have everything clean!
The reality of OCD:
It causes the host to suffer from panic attacks if rituals aren’t adhered to. An example of this is how my mind works, if I don’t leave my house at 8am on a college morning, I have a panic attack in fear of being late. This can cause quite debilitating anxiety during the day, which can lead to chest pains, headaches, migraines, dizziness, vomiting, sickness, and overeating/loss of appetite.
Comments about Anxiety:
I must have Social Anxiety; I’m so awkward in public.
The reality of Anxiety:
Having Social Anxiety means you will most likely be very quite and will lack human interaction. Being awkward in public doesn’t mean you have a debilitating mental disorder that can stop you from even going into a shop on your own, let alone have the courage to actually leave the house. Some people with Anxiety end up housebound at some point in life, and I can personally say that I have done it. I had a mental breakdown in July 2014 which left me in my bedroom, with no sunlight, for an entire month before being tricked into going outside.
Comments about Schizophrenia:
I talk to myself sometimes, too. I’m like Harley Quinn.
The reality of Schizophrenia:
It is not a fashion accessory. It’s a severe disorder that can cause suicidal tendencies, violence, severe depression, and self-torture. For some, it is handleable. For most, treatment is required. Treatment can be anything from psychological help to medication, and only 3 in 10 people have a lasting recovery.
Comments about Depression:
Depression is when someone stays strong for too long.
The reality of Depression:
How about no? Depression – as in Major Depressive Disorder, not the mood – is a serious illness that is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is not something that is caused by being too strong for too long. People with Depression are strong, yes. But we’re not the fallen heroes that you portray us as, nor are people in Depressive mood states suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. These are two, very separate, things.
It’s difficult, having a mental disorder and constantly seeing people seeming as if they want the disorder you have. And because of the people who seem to want it, they’re also causing the ones with the disorder to have a stigma attached to them.
We’re not attention seekers, we’re different – not by choice. But if you want to feel different, instead of using a mental illness as your new trend, how about wearing different clothes, or dying your hair a different colour? How about wearing a different bracelet or a different lipstick. How about wearing different football boots, or wearing a different jacket. Eat something you usually don’t.
Our misery is not a trend, and it is not a way for you to feel special.