Why are we Romanticizing Mental Health Issues?

mental health

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I'm going to start this writing off by saying I'm in no way minimalizing the importance of talking about mental health issues. The topic that's represented in the title is something that has been hanging around my head for a while now, and I finally decided to write about it. I hope I can bring you, readers, some knowledge on why romanticizing mental health problems and even disorders are not what we should be doing.

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Those who have been reading my work for some time now, know that this broad subject is something I have written about before on my private account. I'm currently in my second year at university, studying psychology, so it's no surprise that it's a dear interest of mine. Though I want to give a short warning that I'm still a student who's learning and this article is just my opinion on the situation and society today.

Without further ado, let's get into the actual article!

☆ | remarkable changes throughout the years

What I have been noticing for the past few years is that mental health issues, together with disorders, have been talked about more among people and on various media. Social media, just like daycove.com has been playing a big role in it as well. Of course, this pure happening is something positive and revolutionary. We have never been able to be so open about mental health struggles as today.

Furthermore, celebrities, people with a voice and influence, have joined this talk as well. The subjective experiences of depression, anxiety, and personality disorders have been shared. People are starting to know more about it. And certain organizations have been getting the chance to grow their system so they are able to give the correct help where needed.

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Yet, I have to announce there's a pretty big but in this bright story. There are some other negative sides such as the government that isn't quite ready to listen to us yet or the money that's rather spent on the economy instead of the people or mother earth, but I'm not going to talk about these today. Right now, I want to acknowledge something else.

When I'm scrolling down on the internet, I'm noticing more and more people, articles, organizations et cetera who instead of joining the serious open talk about mental health issues, praise having them. Shirts with 'I have depression and I like it printed on them, tv shows that give the impression committing suicide aren't the actual end of life, and some fictional stories that portray the only way to save yourself from these problems is to find someone else who can fix you in just a second, and so on.

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All of these examples imply that having a mental health disorder is 'fun' and just some sort of fairytale, which to be clear isn't in any way. Yes, it's normal and more people struggle with it than we think. No, it's not a happy story and we shouldn't romanticize the idea of having it. In the following part of this article, I will be explaining this problematic situation more in detail.

The open talk we have about these problems should obviously stay, but we need to start thinking about how we do it. Sadly, mental health issues aren't as easy to see or/and figure out as physical ones. They lie deep and science is still researching why we have them, how they develop, what we can do about it, and so on every single day. The mind, our human brain, truly has more mysteries than certainties.

☆ | romanticizing mental health issues is not okay

The romanticization of mental illness is seriously dangerous because just like the name suggests, they are and will always stay illnesses. They hurt and harm people on a daily basis and I honestly can't comprehend why anyone would want to portray this lightly. Sadly, this situation has caused not only this problematic view but also the fact that a big amount of people aren't receiving help because others are showing these mental health struggles as something 'cool' and lighthearted.

More than often, when mental health problems get written about, it's in a fictional world or in a poetic way. And even though, to the core there's nothing wrong with it, as a lot of people feel understood through this and see a connection with others, those writers should remember that the talk about solutions to these issues is just as important. Plus, tv shows and movies that choose these problems and illnesses as a subject should include warnings and especially explanations.

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The internet has created this 'sad girls club' that intentionally wasn't bad at all, it wanted to bring people who struggled with the same things together, but later on became toxic. Just like the examples I mentioned before, this group of people on Tumblr and Twitter exclaim that having these mental health issues is 'fine' and even picture them as something 'trendy'. Now, the problem with mental health issues becoming a trend is people actually wanting to have them.

By putting these problems in a more beautiful and light language, we forget what it's actually like having them. People seem to be uncomfortable when the talk is held more seriously, and more to the point. It shows that we still don't know enough about it and that we are still afraid to accept the real, negative side of it. Yet, I wonder why, because from what I've learned every single one of us gets face to face with a mental health issue at least once in our life.

☆ | what can we do to stop this alarming issue

People who work in the care industry need to think about how they represent these mental health illnesses. Doctors, who often don't have a lot of psychological classes, should embrace the knowledge psychologists can give. The media needs to have more control over what gets published, and what gets said about these real struggles. They shouldn't be scared of getting to the actual matter.

And we all need to be less airy-fairy and blunter. We need to confront the topic head-on, it’s how the issue will change. So many of us already know what it's like to struggle with your mental health: your thoughts, emotions, and actions. So many of us know it isn't as easy as it often gets represented: it's actually extremely hard. So many of us have seen what damage it can bring to a person before: what it can do to a life.

So that’s the reason why I ask the question: why are we romanticizing mental health issues?

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