​10 Offensively Merchandised Mental Illnesses

​10 Offensively Merchandised Mental Illnesses

We need to stop glamorizing mental illness.

Mental illness is one of those awkward, deep topics that no one wants to bring into the conversation. However, we need to start talking about it because you might be surprised how common mental illness is in our society.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in the United States, 1 in 5 adults suffer from some form of mental illness, which is approximately 18.5 million Americans. However, adults aren’t the only ones affected. Approximately 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 13 and 18 experience some form of mental illness in their lives.

When discussing mental illness, it’s important to remember that mental illness takes many forms. Some of the more common forms include anxiety disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Every form of mental illness should be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, there are some clothing companies who don’t want to take mental illness seriously. They want to exploit it, glamorize it, and use it to make a fashion statement. Here are 10 examples of clothing companies selling insulting merchandise that make light of mental illness:

#1: “I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It’s Awesome!”

First of all, mental illness of any kind isn’t “awesome.” It can cause people to physically or mentally harm themselves. The second problem with this shirt is that it makes light of bipolar disorder, which isn’t something to make light about. Remember: Mental illness isn’t a joke.

#2: “I Used To Be Schizophrenic But We Are OK Now”

This shirt makes fun of schizophrenia, which is incredibly rude. Schizophrenia isn’t a joke, and it shouldn’t be the design of a t-shirt.

#3: “OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder”

I understand why someone might want to buy this shirt, like if they really like Christmas, for example. However, it’s insulting to glamorize OCD because it is a serious mental illness. There are other ways to show that you love Christmas without making light of mental illness.

#4: “I Thought I Was Bipolar, Turns Out I’m An A**hole”

This is one of the rudest shirts on this list. Not only does this shirt make light bipolar disorder, which is a serious mental illness, but it implies that people who have bipolar disorder are “assholes,” which is incredibly rude to those who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

#5: “Social Anxiety Intensifies”

This necklace glamorizes social anxiety, which isn’t something to make light of or glamorize. Social anxiety affects many people, and it’s not considerate to those who have social anxiety to make light of the serious mental illness that they struggle with.

#6: “Blame It On The A-A-A-A-A Anxiety”

There are a lot of people who struggle with anxiety, and it is a serious mental illness that shouldn’t be glamorized and made light of. This is just another example of merchandise that glamorizes and makes light of a serious mental illness. Mental illness should always be taken seriously.

#7: “I usually try to keep my sadness inside where it can fester quietly as a mental illness”

It’s not safe for people struggling with depression to hold it in and not seek help from a clinical professional. This shirt implies that it is supporting people struggling with sadness and depression to not seek the help that they need. Always encourage those suffering with depression to seek help from a counselor or even from a friend or family member. Simply talking to a friend can help that person a lot.

#8: “Eat Less”

Urban Outfitters received severe backlash after they manufactured this shirt and sold it at their stores. Because of that, they pulled it from their stores, which is great, but this shirt stems from a larger issue of glamorizing and making light of eating disorders and mental illness. This shirt encourages eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. Eating disorders are not glamorous and they need to be taken seriously.

#9: “I Have OCD But I Only Clean Things When I’m In The Mood Because I’m Also Bipolar”

Not only does this shirt make fun of OCD, which is a serious mental illness, but it also makes light of bipolar disorder, which is another serious mental illness. OCD and bipolar disorder are serious mental illnesses that should be taken seriously.

#10: "Depression"

This is a classic example of glamorizing depression, which is a serious mental illness that many children and adults suffer with in the United States. This shirt was also manufactured and sold at Urban Outfitters, and it was taken out of the stores and off of their website because it received harsh criticism for glamorizing depression. Depression, as well as all other mental illnesses, are not fashion statements and should be taken seriously.

I hope this list shed some light on the problem with glamorizing mental illnesses in our society. Mental illness should always be taken seriously. For more information on mental illness in the United States, please visit the following website: www.nami.org.

Cover Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

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Why Self-Care Has Made Me A Happier Person

I decided to focus on myself, and it’s been great.

At the beginning of last semester, I was a wreck. I took up too many things, was overly stressed and I felt like I had no free time for my friends or myself. Towards the end of the semester, I was even worse. Finals stacked their weight on my shoulders, and I felt like I was trapped in a constant loop of work and nothing else.

At the beginning of 2018, I reached my breaking point. I felt like nothing was going right for me, and I could no longer handle the stress. I mentally could no longer keep going. I would shut myself off from my friends and the people that cared about me, deleting all my social media apps and never replying to people.

I had a huge breakdown, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

During that mental break, I realized that doing all the things that I was doing was not worth the mental strain.

After what happened, I decided to begin to put myself first. All last semester, and the beginning of this semester, I focused on other people’s needs and happiness, and never my own. I was hiding behind the lie that if I made other people happy, maybe I would be happy too.

I decided to focus on myself, and it’s been great. I dropped half of the things that were on my plate, and I finally feel like I can breathe again. I finally feel that I have time for myself, time to sit down and read or write if I really wanted to.

I know it may sound like a small thing, but I’m making sure I take a shower and wash my face everyday, a step that I never had time for last semester.

I’ve been pushing myself to go to the gym more and more frequently, in order to feel physically and mentally better.

I have begun to spend more time on my dancing, something that has been a part of my life since I can remember, and one of my few passions. It truly makes me happy, and I’m glad I can put more time towards it.

My experience with mental health has never been a great one. I have always felt like I needed to put others over myself. I am glad to say now that I can finally focus on myself, and become a happier person because of it.

If you’re struggling with things like stress, I suggest that you take a step back from your busy life and take a look at the person in the mirror. That person’s mental health is not worth sacrificing for some club or some frat or sorority. You deserve to be happy. Please take time to rest, and relax. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Cover Image Credit: Columbia Business Times

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9 Self-Care Tips For College Students

Put Yourself First!

As college students, we struggle with finding time for school, work, activities, and ourselves. We become too busy that we forget about ourselves in the process. Therefore self-care should be important to college students, we need to put our needs first. I personally struggle with self-care. I put always school first, even if that means staying up late or making up for work a group member couldn’t complete. But I have learned that self-care is important and that a time throughout the day should be scheduled to care for yourself. Here are some self-care tips:

1. Catch some Z’s

Sleep should be very important to college students. Sleeping allows our bodies to fully recharge and get ready for another day. So try your best to get at least 7 hours a day of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling better. Don’t forget to take naps, whenever they are needed.

2. Work Out

Working out makes our bodies feel better, more energized, and it reduces stress. It clears your mind and keeps you on your feet so you can think better throughout the day. I struggle to keep up with this self-care tip. But when I do get the chance, running helps me ease my mind and it motivates me to take care of myself more. I suggest you give it a try.

3. Get Lost in A Book

Personally, when I practice self-care I tend to reach out for a book. Reading a book that is not related to any school assignments, helps clear my mind and escape reality for a while. You can try reading before going to be, but if you are like me that gets carried away. Then I suggest reading on the way home or when you have a small break.

4. Laugh

For us to me emotionally well, we must have a good sense of humor. Laughter strengthens your immune system, increases energy, diminishes pain, and protects you from stressing. Shout out to my friends for making me laugh daily even in the most embarrassing situations.

5. Go for A Walk

Whenever you feel overwhelmed with school work, I suggest to get up and go get some fresh air. It will help sort out your thoughts and make you feel less stress. Enjoy the scenery while you’re at it!

6. Drink More Water

Water improves your skin, keeps you energized, and makes you more alert. Plus who doesn’t want to have clear and glowing skin? Remember our bodies need at least 8 cups of water per day.

7. Do Something Creative

Start journaling, get a coloring book, or paint a picture. Doing something creative releases stress, makes you feel less anxious, and happier. I knew I need to do something more creative to help me release stress, so I decided to take a photography class with my best friend and so far, it’s going great. So, give it a try!

8. Clean Your Room

You’re probably thinking, how is cleaning my room going to help my self-care? Personally, if my room is a mess then I am a mess too. I don’t feel energized or relaxed to do anything upon seeing my room a mess. I already know that if I don’t clean up, then I won’t have a productive day. Trust me there have been many of those. So, take some time to tidy your room and admire your clean space.

9. Keep Positive People in Your Life

Friends are the most important people in your life. If a friend brings positivity to your life, then that friendship is a solid bond. You should keep these people in your life, someone who will bring you up and no pull you down.

Many students based their daily routine around their academic schedule and workload. If you want to change that, make a list of all the things you do and enjoy that aren’t related to school. School is important, but others things in your life are important too. Remember you are a valuable person!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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