OPINIONThe Romanticizing Mental Health: The Toxic Truth
Mental health is a very serious issue in today’s society that affects many teens and even children. But when it gets to the point where people are using that as a reason to be relatable and glamorize or romanticize it, it becomes something bigger, something we, as a generation must pay attention to. To glamorize something according to oxford dictionary is to “make (something) seem glamorous or desirable” and to romanticize something is to “deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is.” This has been seen with so many different events in the media within especially the past decade.
One example is the Netflix original 13 reasons why. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy this show I just don’t like the way they handled some of the more extreme topics, such as the way they portrayed how Hannah’s tapes were documented they made it seem like it was some kind of revenge plot on all of the students from liberty high. I know that the intention for this though was to explain the reasons why she did what she did but I just don’t think they did a very good job with the wording of her tapes and some of the kid's reactions to it. One thing they did do really well though was how they tackled sexual assault. Yes, they graphically depicted it which was the one thing they could’ve done different but I liked the way they showed Jessica especially trying to spread awareness for it.
Another example of glamorizing/romanticizing mental illness is this shirt I found online with Kurt Cobain’s suicide note printed on it. I feel like this was very disrespectful to the family and friends and even fans of nirvana who mourn his death even to this day.
Another example is people posting things on Tumblr and Instagram one post I found said” her eyes ran out of tears so she forced her skin to cry instead” with an image of a cut arm attached. This is incredibly disgusting and makes me sick how people think that self-harm is a beautiful thing. Which it is not and it is incredibly disrespectful that people can think it is.
Now let’s get into why this is a bad thing because obviously is. First, it is incredibly disrespectful for the people who are actually legitimately experiencing these things. The people who self harm the people who are depressed the people who are suicidal the people who have daily panic attacks because of there anxiety. It makes us people feel little and small and like our feelings don’t matter because people just think that it is something that everyone feels and that it’s this beautiful, fun thing which let me tell you it is not. Second, this isn’t good for people to think that wanting to die is normal which is not but that doesn’t mean it’s something to be ashamed of. At some point, it’s gonna get real bad and there are thousands to millions who commit suicide every year with a growth rate as of 2019. And it’s not something we should feel but it happens. But people glamorizing or romanticizing it is what is making people do it more and more.
If you ever feel suicidal or need help here are some resources:
Suicide prevention hotline: