Mental Illness Isn't A Costume
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Health and Wellness

Mental Illness Isn't A Costume

I don't get to take it off at the end of the day, so why should you?

Mental Illness Isn't A Costume

Around 20 percent of the adult population is mentally ill, meaning that they have some type of disease like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite a good chunk of the United States being mentally ill, it seems that every Halloween either a store or movie is insensitive to the mentally ill community.

Although the accessory has been taken down due to complaints, Walmart released a "suicide razor slash" transfer. Now, I'm not sure what kind of costume they meant for this to complete, but nothing good comes to mind. I can only assume that it was meant for either a horror or humor related costume, neither of which sits well with me. For the sake of being thorough, I'll address both.

First off, there's the horror aspect. I've seen way too many movies and scary stories that use suicide as a plot device, and, while it is scary, there's no reason to demonize suicidal people. Someone who commits suicide due to depression is no more to blame than someone who passes away from cancer, or any other incurable disease. The fact that mental illnesses don't have physical affects on the body usually makes neurotypical (non-mentally ill) people forget that mental illness isn't just an excuse, it's a real thing that many people have to work through every day. They aren't the scary, criminally insane serial killers that you see in movies. The majority of neurodivergent people can function perfectly fine in day to day life, and a good portion of them do it without medication.

The other issue here is that suicide is being trivialized as if it were some type of joke. Suicide isn't funny, suicide is pure desperation when you feel like you only have one option left. Suicide is a last resort for when you wake up every morning and already feel dead. It leaves a teenager wondering what her grandpa was like. It's caused countless parents who have barely gotten gray hairs to bury their only child. No one makes a funny cancer patient costume, so why make self-harm scars a humorous costume?

Of course, this isn't the first time this has happened, either. If I had a dollar for every time that someone monetized mental illness I would actually be able to afford my antidepressants.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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