Let's Stop Romanticizing The Idea Of Broken People Trying To Fix One Another
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Health and Wellness

Let's Stop Romanticizing The Idea Of Broken People Trying To Fix One Another

Those who suffer from mental illness need to seek help for themselves before they can be expected to help someone else.

Let's Stop Romanticizing The Idea Of Broken People Trying To Fix One Another

Historically speaking, the mentally ill have been exposed to discrimination, mistreatment and even abuse by our larger society, and this we know due to patient records taken from old insane asylums, letters, bibliographies and even artifacts discovered to have been used for the purpose of torture. In recent years, however, our society has grown more accustomed to the idea of mental illness.

Institutions, such as places of education, have begun to establish safe spaces for those who suffer from mental illness to seek out treatment, gain clarity and even to communicate with others with these same issues. The fact of the matter is that our society is beginning to grow much more conscious surrounding the issue of mental illness.

As our society makes this shift, however, a dangerous new trend has emerged with it. As mental illness is becoming more and more acknowledged by the larger society, a kind of romance has also followed it. People are beginning to engage in the dangerous notion of "self-diagnosing," concluding themselves to have a form of mental illness without consulting a doctor.

Self-diagnosing, however, is just one sub-trend that has followed the overall trend of romanticizing mental illness. Along with self-diagnosing, those with mental illnesses (or those who assume that they have them) have begun to intentionally seek out partners who are in the same boat.

This "trend" is no secret because it is represented throughout various forms of pop culture- in music, in movies, in TV shows and so on. The concept is, essentially, that two "broken" people can solve all of their issues by fixing one another.

Why is this an issue? Well, first of all, it interferes with the concept that every human being is a whole person in and of themselves. It's essentially denying the ability of those who suffer from mental illness to regain their independence through medical treatment and various coping mechanisms.

Instead of our society encouraging those with mental illness to seek out this help, we encourage them to find someone as "broken" or damaged as they are to help them stitch up their wounds. This is a band-aid solution to a larger problem, and it just doesn't work.

It's not just the concept that doesn't work, however. It's that the idea of two broken people finding each other and fixing each other's problems isn't practical. Let's put it this way: If one person is suffering and can't even find help for themselves, how in the world are they to be expected to help someone else? When you add in marriage and children to the mix, the issue gets even more complicated, especially when and if a romantic relationship is directly interfering with the lives of little people who depend on the survival of that relationship.

Why does our society collectively believe that it is appropriate for two broken people to fix each other? Well, maybe it's because our society hasn't developed its own collective coping skills. After all, mental illness isn't just an individual phenomenon — it's a social one.

Maybe when we discover these coping mechanisms for ourselves, we can slowly begin to engage in a larger paradigm shift in society that supports the development of romantic relationships between whole and healthy individuals seeking to nurture one another in order to support relationships that may flourish.

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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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