Thursday, 8 January 2015

Why is mental health romanticized?

Why is mental health romanticized?

My generation seems weirdly obsessed with romanticizing mental illness and it's something that I find strange, if I'm honest. It's
like they have a weird fascination with mental illness and I don't really understand it. I feel like it has come from stories about
a "broken" girl that has been magically fixed by some "Prince Charming."

This is something that I'm not sure about, like the support that it seems to give is good, I guess? But it makes it seem "cute" when really, it's not.
Like, I know that it is good to be supportive and that people accept it (which they should, because people with genuine mental health issues can't help it)
but when it is made to be this amazing thing, I don't think that is right, like yeah it's good that people can talk about it and that it is a hard
thing to overcome and stuff (I'm not too good at explaining what I mean) but when things like "she paints a pretty picture, with a twist, her wrist is her canvas
and her paintbrush is a blade" are quoted (and yes, in the past I have reblogged or posted quotes like this, but that was when I didn't understand it that well) it
makes me feel uneasy because "her" skin is not a canvas, it is her own flesh that she is harming and it is not art and should not be made out like it is art,
what impression does that give to people who don't understand? For example, me a few years ago, I thought that it was a good way to explain it so that it seemed
nicer and that it wasn't a horrible thing to do and I think that it sort of encourages people, especially the younger, more impressionable people to self harm.

Anxiety is not cute, it really isn't. It is horrible, especially for the people that suffer with it and their loved ones because they are the ones that really
have to deal with it. People make it seem like mental illness is beautiful when the truth is, it isn't and it really hurts the people and their loved
ones that are effected by it. I believe that the more it is romanticized, the less it will be taken seriously, I may be wrong but hey, that's my
opinion. No matter what these stories may imply, depression and mental illness will not just go away once you enter a good relationship,
the issues are deeper than that and making clueless teenage girls believe that finding someone who tells them that they are beautiful or need
anything less than profession help to relieve their depression is not doing them any favors. I don't think that we should
let teenagers believe that someone will come and make them feel beautiful or "worth it." Instead, we need to teach them to find that "worth"
in themselves, they need to find the confidence to make it through another day and the courage that they need to ask for help. This, I believe
is a lesson that will save their lives.

The truth is, social media has such a hold over us that we will choose to believe what is being fed to us and because social media gets
so much attention. I think that social media is great and a really good way to connect with people and to tell your story but I do believe
that it romanticizes mental illness and actively encourages self-destructive behavior. I also think that a lot of this is done through Tumblr. as much as I love
it and use it, I feel like this is a very bad thing. What happened to Tumblr being a community and helping and supporting each other? Tumblr is not about making
other people feel shit by posting depressing things and as they see it on their dashboard, it reminds them of how they once (or currently) felt and that isn't
good. Although, a lot of people do it to express their feelings which is fine but romanticizing mental illness is NOT.
I feel like social media dresses mental illness up as glamorous. People feel isolated from real life because of what they go through, I think they use the
internet as a safe haven. I feel like as people are scrolling through Tumblr and see skinny models can worsen symptoms of eating disorders and body image disorders.
Also, seeing glamorized pictures and quotes about anxiety and depression can trigger self- destructive behavior.

I believe that there is nothing romantic as being an emotionally unstable person. It isn't cute to not be able to have a casual conversation with a stranger because of
anxiety. I am not blaming the people who suffer from mental illness for having emotions and behaviours. I think that the attitude towards
mental health on social media is not healthy, especially Instagram and Tumblr. I think that romanticizing mental illness is just a big trigger and promotion of problems
to others.

I don't think that mental illnesses should be romanticized because they should be taken seriously and dealt with in an encouraging way.
Encouraging negative attitudes and behavior is not helpful at all. Tumblr users should not get caught up in the romanticizing of destructive behavior.
Mental illness should not be glamorized or romanticized.
That is just my opinion, some people may disagree and that's okay.
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