My Mental Illness Is Not Your "Scary" Halloween Costume
Start writing a post

My Mental Illness Is Not Your "Scary" Halloween Costume

My struggles are not a costume.

My Mental Illness Is Not Your "Scary" Halloween Costume

Halloween. You may take this night (or month) to indulge in extreme self-expression, wearing something you normally wouldn't for a good scare.

While most costumes are harmless acts of self-expression, there are also many costumes that fuel harmful stereotypes about mental health and those in the community.

A few examples of such costumes and attractions seen in recent years include haunted houses presented as "insane asylums" where straight-jacketed patients terrorize visitors, "mental patient" Halloween costumes that depict mental illness as objects of fear and sexualized costumes that portray women with anorexia nervosa as "sexy skeletons".

People with mental health conditions make up a significant part of the population (one in four people).

I am one of those four.

Living with a mental illness can feel scary at times but it shouldn't provide inspiration for Halloween.

Mental illness is already subjected to a tremendous amount of stigma.

The stigma that is so strong that nearly two-thirds of people affected by them live in silence and go without treatment.

Even Halloween costumes that mock mental illness can easily contribute to already existing stigma and be a major barrier to treatment.

By wearing a costume others are being told that mental disorders are okay to laugh at, scary to have, and potentially violent or harmful to others. None of which are true.

So, how can you better support your mentally ill friends, family members, and even strangers on Halloween?

First off, make sure that your costume isn't offensive to marginalized groups of people or those living with mental illness.

Then if you see someone wearing a costume that's offensive remember that you're free to advocate for yourself or others and explain that it's not appropriate.

Lastly, continue to have open discussions past Halloween - whether it's in school, at the workplace, or among friends and family - about why stigma is so dangerous.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
What College Girls Remember from their Summers as a Kid

Yes, summer is almost here.. so what should we remember

Keep Reading... Show less
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

As Tik-Tokers rise to fame, do their 'copy-cat' dances deserve the clout?

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

Oh, the wonders of social media. Trends come and go just as quick as a story on Instagram, everyone posting for their shot at fifteen minutes of fame, and the ever growing following of a new type of celebrity- social media influencers and content creators. Everyone who owns a smartphone probably has Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and now Tik-Tok, as it's growing to be a major social media platform for teenagers and young adults. Tik Tok became popular in the United States in late 2019 and since then has grown a considerable amount. Personally, I was one to make fun of Tik-Tok and say it was a dumb app like or Triller, and now months later, I spend more time on it than I do on Instagram.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments