This article is going to be straight and to the point. Media making mental illness into a fashion trend and something that is “cute” is beyond disgusting. Being someone who suffers from some mental illnesses, and has many friends and family members who also have them, seeing our pain displayed as a trend makes me sick.
A recent trend on websites, such as Tumblr and other social media, has been to romanticize the idea of being perpetually sad and not being able to function as a normal person. These people do not understand what it is like to be sad for days, weeks, or months on end. People who wear shirts saying they are too anxious for life don’t know what it is like to be bent over a toilet and unable to sleep because anxiety is consuming them. It isn’t cute to be shaking with fear over something illogical, and it isn’t quirky to be so sad you can’t get out of bed.
When people wear clothes that display our disorders and illnesses it makes it into a joke. There is already a huge stigma against people with these issues, and we don’t need more people to discredit our struggles. Depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, eating disorders, and many more are things that are not easy to talk about. No person who actually suffers from these things would proudly present them on their clothing.
Clothing is not the only thing that dehumanizes people with mental illness. The words that we say turn something that is serious, into a joking characteristic. We have all heard someone say, “I’m so OCD!” No, you’re not. You just like to be organized. OCD is a disorder where you have uncontrollable compulsions that make it extremely hard to live a normal life. People who joke about having OCD don’t understand what it's like to not be able to go through a day without thinking about their compulsions. They don’t know the feeling of deep anxiety someone feels when they can’t find relief from their repetitive behaviors.
There are so many phrases that have found their way into our everyday conversations, and people don’t know the weight of what they are saying. Phrases such as “This is going to give me a panic attack,” “He’s so antisocial,” and “She looks anorexic,” may seem like they are small comments and not meant to be harmful, but they are. People who are saying these phrases will never know what it is like to have any of these illnesses that they speak of.
There is a stigma in society against mental illness and people don’t realize how much people refuse to acknowledge it is affecting people. Using these phrases and making them funny and quirky makes them seem like it’s just a phase some teenage girl is going through. In reality, people are dying from these illnesses or are unable to live fulfilling, happy lives. We need to stop spreading the media’s negative idea of someone having a mental illness and start addressing the problem. We need to start helping people before it’s too late.