We’re all mad here

The over generalization of mental illnesses has become a pretty big pet peeve of mine. I cringe when the girl in front of me at Starbucks whines that she was “so OCD” today that she organized her twilight memorabilia for twenty minutes. Or the student in my class cries “insomnia” because she stayed up all night re-blogging stereotypical photos on her tumblr. Self-harm isn’t something to aspire to, pictures of self inflicted wounds shouldn’t be metamorphosed with vintage filters and re-blogged causally.

Mental illness is not a trend, it will not slowly disappear like hair bands and the beanie baby. People will always be suffering. I’d truly love it if this romanticism of mental illness was helping to end the stigma that surrounds it, but it only serves to isolate us even more. If someone was to step up, speak out about their chilling delusions or bizarre and debilitating compulsions do you think it’d get as many re-blogs as the picture of a pretty girl crying and a definition of depression? Do you think it’d reach a thousand, even a hundred likes? No.

Mental illness is charming and harrowing when it’s locked in your computer screen surrounded by a pretty border and some insignificant phrase. It’s romantic in blockbuster films where your illness hardly gets in the way of true romance and then it’s smooth sailing from there on. As soon as you find a partner you’re totally cured!

The world prefers to keep it’s distance from the real thing, all pretending they commiserate wholly, but never truly letting us in.

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12 Comments

Filed under Mental Illness

12 responses to “We’re all mad here

  1. This is a powerful and thought-provoking post. I too, have BDP, OCD plus other mental health conditions and i hate the stigma that there is in society connected with mental health. It occurs even in the church which i would have thought would have been the last place for discrimination..

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    • Thank you very much! I think there are few places where mental illness is truly respected and understood and it’s usually only among those who personally understand it as well. I hope someday this can change.

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  2. I agree. I hate when people casually throw around terms like OCD and psychopath as though they are insignificant and trendy. It delegitimizes true mental illness. Working in retail, an angry customer called me a psychopath just because I was sarcastic with her. Really? Does she even know what a psychopath is? Does it occur to people that I may have a real mental illness and what they say to me may have a negative impact because of my condition? People are quick to peg you as “crazy” the moment you show a sign of emotional instability. If they could get into our heads, they wouldn’t be so insensitive.

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    • Thank you for the comment! Yes, I entirely agree. People don’t think before they speak, these words mean little to them because they don’t respect mental illness or those who have it, so why shouldn’t they just toss them around at whoever is near.
      I’m sorry you’ve dealt with these stigmas <3

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  3. When people say things like “I’m a little OCD” or “I have some OCDs” it makes me cringe so badly. There are times when I desperately want to say something (and there have been times when I have) but I keep my mouth shut simply to avoid causing an argument over it. You’re completely right, it doesn’t do anything but isolate people further by creating a false perception of what a disorder is or does. That goes for many things, OCD, Pschosis, Depression, Tourette’s. Very drawn out “I agree” there, sorry!

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  4. This is so true, it drives me crazy when people label their emotions so lightly. “I had a panic attack about ‘blank’ the other day” No, you didn’t you might have stressed about it or freaked out a bit, but I can guarantee you did not have a real panic attack.

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  5. Thank you so much for this- I was planning to write a post about the same thing but you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth! I hate the idea that mental illness is seen (by some people) as tragically romantic- when I’m very depressed I don’t have the energy to wash myself, and in my experience that tends to send prospective partners running in the opposite direction…

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  6. Thank you so much for this- I was planning to write a post about the same thing but you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth! I hate the idea that mental illness is seen (by some people) as tragically romantic- when I’m very depressed I don’t have the energy to wash myself, and in my experience that tends to send prospective partners running in the opposite direction…

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  7. GREAT post. Totally agree

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  8. I fighting going inpatient. I can so relate. I hear the same and while it is not my business to judge another I watch and listen to their luxury problems and think to myself…you are clueless.

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