The Millennial Self-Diagnosis Crisis

The Millennial Self-Diagnosis Crisis

Deciding you have a mental illness can't be an option.
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“There’s nothing wrong with you,”

said [Mom/Dad/Grandparent]. “You’re just being dramatic.”

Too often have millennials heard this phrase and received these words when they were seeking comfort. A generation brought up under intense, emotional stress, having their feelings and emotions undermined. There are times throughout one’s youth where, yes, they are most definitely being dramatic, but that doesn’t mean that every cry for help doesn’t deserve some form of validation. It is this lack of validation, this desire to assume that nothing is actually wrong but instead that one is being dramatic, that I think has lead millennials on a rampage of self-diagnosis and publication, therefore desiring validation where they could never find it.

I will neither confirm nor deny anybody’s mental illnesses. Depression is real and it’s destructive, but it’s also so often mistaken for being upset or feeling disappointed in one’s situation. Anxiety is tangible and overwhelming and miserable, but that doesn’t mean that all stress, which can at times bring on those feelings, is the same as anxiety. The aforementioned, as well as countless other mental illnesses (OCD, ADD, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc.), have become, especially with the increasing individual social media presence, a central point of discussion for many young men and women.

Not because they’ve seen a doctor or a therapist and someone has told them that what they’re feeling isn’t just sadness or a feeling of overwhelmedness resulting from outside factors, but because they are seeking validation and will turn to putting labels on their feelings as a means of garnering external support. It’s much easier to empathize with someone who's not simply ignoring their responsibilities and then swimming in the aftermath, than someone whose “ADD” leaves them with “Anxiety” about tasks they can’t complete because they can’t focus.

It’s easy to understand why this is happening; millennial brains are, and I myself am admitting to this as I make this generalization, wired to desire constant attention and focus. Narcissism is prevalent in a culture that spends most of its time staring at photos of other people and sharing photos of yourself in everyday situations, and understandably so. There also wasn't the right outlets, as there has never really been, for kids to seek mental health and guidance without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable, having to ask a parent to pay for it, or making some sort of effort to see a guidance counselor who is more concerned with scheduling 20 students into an AP History class, than with your feelings.

However, this does not mean that it’s not problematic. While unfortunately if I could, I would kiss the foreheads of all of my contemporaries to make them feel validated, such would not solve the problem. Lots of the issues that young people face are, in fact, their own damn fault. Part of growing up is learning to deal with these mistakes and not just deflect them into a category of self-inflicted mental illness. So while part of the issue is that we can’t diagnose people if they don’t see a doctor, we also can’t diagnose people if they don’t have anything actually wrong with them, but are instead lazy or maybe a little self-absorbed.

Part of the issue is by feeding into these conspiracy-style mental illness diagnoses, we are also invalidating people who struggle with real mental illnesses every day. Imagine hearing day-to-day rhetoric whereby what you’re going through, what you’re taking pills for or staying up until two in the morning for, is being used to describe the sensation of forgetting to do one’s homework because they were out all night. Imagine not being able to find validity in your own issues because others are inflicting it upon themselves.

People with real anxiety often won’t spend so much time ruminating on their anxiety because it’s not easy to talk about and it’s not comfortable to bring up in a group conversation. People with depression oftentimes don’t like to publicize it because they don’t like to publicize their struggle with something that so many people see as self-inflicted. It takes great strength to come out with a serious mental illness, and only a little strength to come forward about one that you’ve decided you have.

It’s okay to seek validity and it’s okay to feel mentally unhealthy, but if such is the case you shouldn’t take to social media to proclaim that you are a slurry of mental illnesses bottled up into one photogenic post-teenager. If we’re trying to open the discussion on mental illness, to relinquish the taboos that have hindered the subject for so long, we have to stop making it seem like it isn’t worth discussing; that it’s a product of lazy twenty-somethings not being able to take care of themselves.

Cover Image Credit: Asdrubal luna / Unsplash

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Dreading This Day All About Love

Valentines day blues

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I have never enjoyed Valentine's Day.

Even if when I was in a relationship it was just an awkward day of "hey I love you, give me gifts and lets make out." But this year, I am just not feeling this thing at all. Since the relationship ended last June I have just been dreading the time when February came, because you know that on the 14th you are going to see all these love post and all us singles are like "welp this is just not my day.", and honestly you feel defeated. I personally asked other singles friends (like the three I have) if they wanted to come and watch Netflix with me and dread the day, but sadly they either had school or work. So here is my plan of getting though this day of love:

NETFLIX

Yes Netflix how else am I supposed to get through this day? Usually I have Greys Anatomy playing all the time but that has love in it, and I am not in the mood for that. My plan is to watch all the crime shows I can because watching TV crime series or documentary about serial killers just seems perfect for the 14th.

SLEEP

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Yes sleeping. I don't have anywhere I need to be why not catch up on some zzz's

CHOCOLATE

Yes I am going to eat my feelings with chocolate because why not? if I could I would get a giant slice of cake and live off that on the 14th but sadly I am stuck with the normal Heresy's chocolate and Reeses which will do their job.

CATS

me :)

This is my wonderful cat Kimber and she will be my partner in crime on the 14th. She will sleep, snuggle, cuddle, all day with me because I need that moral support of my fluffy cat.

BOOKS

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If I am able to fit reading a book into my schedule of everything listed above then reading will go into that open spot. I always loved reading but with school it is hard to find the time to read for enjoyment. so this day will be the perfect day.


This is my plan for the 14th of February and hopefully this will help me get though this dreadful day. And if you are also single try this out :)

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