Stop Glorifying Mental Illnesses

Posted on March 3, 2017

By Pareli Amirkhanian

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       Too often I see mental illnesses being romanticized and I am pretty sick of it. Now, I myself do not suffer from any mental illnesses, but I am not one to only care about things unless it affects me personally.
       The mental illness I see continuously plastered over social media and everyday life the most, as if it holds such low value, is depression.
        Depression affects nearly 350 million people across the world, according to the World Health Organization.
        I hear “I failed my test, I’m depressed,” or “I’m depressed that I can’t go.”
        I even recall a shirt which had in cursive writing on top of it, “Stressed, depressed, but well dressed.” Really? Do people truly know the power in the single word they are saying?
        Depression changes one’s life, and affects them in every single part of their lives from school, relationships, and friendships. Depression can have some people not being able to leave their bed or their own house.
        Making depression an ordinary adjective to describe a mellow mood when things go wrong is degrading to those who suffer with depression each and every day.
        A tweet read “Sext: I’m depressed,” getting thousands of retweets and favorites. “Sext” is a popular term used implying that you received something pleasurable; in this case someone who has a mental illness.
         Romanticizing the idea of having depression, and even going as far as implying it is a trait one would want someone to have, can lead to people actually pursuing to be depressed, or not wanting to change themselves when they are.
         It does not matter whether you suffer with the illness itself or not; glorifying it and making it seem like something that is looked for in someone can have damaging effects on people’s perception of depression and society itself.
        Tumblr is one of the biggest social media platform that romanticizes mental illness to such a great degree. One picture with a quote on the site read “I think suicidal people are just angels that want to go home.”
        The glorification of not only depression but suicide as well is not only troubling, but also an insult to the mental illness itself. There is nothing “angelic” or beautiful about someone being so depressed and alone that they end their own life.
        It is time for people to stop taking depression so lightly and learn that there is nothing beautiful or elegant about depression or suicide. It is only the opposite.

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