Right now in the world of technology and social media, it seems far more people are talking about mental illness than in the past which is a good thing but that doesn’t make social media flawless. When it comes to mental illness social media in many ways can make it seem like something that we should all want to have when it’s exactly the opposite.
Sure, the aesthetic images of cartoon characters moping around and overall monotone consistency might be enticing to some, mental health issues are not trends to jump onto. They’re real problems and conditions that real people have! Hashtags and so much more are really ruining the good that being more open to discussing mental health issues does.
I recently came across an article posted by Business Insider back in December of 2019 and it covered the state of millennials moving forth in regards to their mental health issues and it really showed that we as a society are in current times doing a great job of really working to de-stigmatize mental health issues but that doesn’t mean we still might not be taking things too far. I guess, all in all, knowing the dangers of falling too far into the ‘dark aesthetic’ that is being made out of mental health issues is important. Rather than using these memes and posts as a means to gain support for our own mental wellbeing, some of us are doing it to increase our reach and seek attention. We seem to be in this day and age whether we realize it or not, romanticizing depictions of depression and other things of the sort.
There is nothing about being mentally ill to brag about. While we should not be ashamed of it, it’s not something we should be thinking makes us better than other people. Having a mental illness isn’t fun and it holds us back in life in ways that those without mental health issues probably won’t understand. Sure, those edgy posts might be ‘relatable’ to some, but they are detrimental in a lot of ways.
I am also not the only person who has noticed this as other people have noted this kind of thing throughout the years. Ally Graham from The Easter Echo actually wrote an article about how much of an aesthetic mental illness is currently made out to be and when reading it, I truly resonated with what she had to say. In her writing, she made sure to point out the exploitation behind the trendy aesthetic that MHI seems to be turning into.
Those who carelessly throw around “mental illness” don’t realize that the image they are taking on is something that they can take off at the end of the day. People who truly suffer from mental illness don’t have that option. It’s a battle that they face every day, unsure when or if it’s going to flare up, or if it’ll ever go away. This new trend and way of expressing these disorders are wrong and disgusting. We are exploiting, profiting from and disrespecting an entire community.
This serving as a reminder to all who read it to be more aware of the implications the things they’re doing online could have on the people around them. Some people have turned bringing awareness to mental health issues into a joke which is not something we should be doing. Suffering on this level isn’t always as beautiful as the depictions online make it out to be and that too is a reality we all need to face.
Have you noticed this happening around you or within your friend groups? I for one have big-time now that I’ve taken the time to really think about the different aspects of things. For more on the topic please check out the video below. I know all too well how unappealing anxiety truly is and I feel those who also suffer from it would agree that it is in no way as trendy as the things people share on social media make it out to be.