romanticization of mental illness on Flickr by Kelsey Weaver.
It’s time to stop romanticizing and glorifying mental illness. Normalizing it only makes things more difficult for people who actually suffer from mental illnesses.This bullshit that being ‘tragic’ and ‘misunderstood’ is not appealing, it’s destructive. Someone isn’t going to come along and think your scars are beautiful and make everything okay for you. You’ve got to make things okay for yourself.
Whatever it takes, be it medication, counseling, or just talking to someone you trust - it gets better. I promise.
You are stronger than your illness.
Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Mental health information
as someone who suffers from this bullshit I actually really take umbrage with all this “stop romanticizing mental illness” stuff and especially “Someone isn’t going to come along and think your scars are beautiful.” I know it’s usually not intended this way, but can you fucking imagine how demoralizing and hopeless it sounds to someone who has scars, physical or emotional, to be told that their scars are not and will never be beautiful to anyone? Do you realize how fucking awful a thing that is to say? And furthermore, how the fuck do you know? Have you personally taken a census of every person living and can therefore say with certainty that there isn’t a single person on earth capable of finding someone else’s emotional and mental struggles to be another beautiful part of this person? Maybe such people don’t exist in your worldview, but they do in mine, and all I’m seeing here is you trying to snatch from somebody their last hope of at least being understood and loved despite the troubles they’re going through.
I don’t want to project my own situation onto everyone dealing with similar issues, but I can at least say for myself that I deal with so much misunderstanding and impatience from people who don’t understand what I’m going through, spending so much time worrying all my friends and family will get fed up with me, that having someone romanticize my depression would be a fucking relief. What definitely doesn’t help is people like you, saying things like what you’re saying— that the struggle is ours alone to bear and nobody will ever love us the way that we are, plus assuming we haven’t already tried (many many many times in so many exhausting ways) to make ourselves better. That if we expect to be loved, we will first have to somehow excise from our brains a demon that has plagued us for years despite our fervent and desperate attempts every single day to overcome it.
Personally I don’t think I have ever come across a depiction of depression or another mental illness that struck me as too “romanticized.” I have seen depictions that made it seem like a personal shortcoming, or not as serious as it is, or misrepresented it in some essential way, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it “romanticized” as so many people rail against. What I have seen is people diminishing it and trivializing it and telling people who are overwhelmed by their own minds that they are on their own and it’s up to them to defeat a sickness that is already defeating them. It’s likely that the depictions of mental illness that strike so many people as “romanticized” just strike me as realistic, I don’t know. Because you know what? As a depressed person, I do find depression and anxiety in other people to be a romantic quality. I do. Because I understand it, and I know how difficult it is, and though I despise it in myself, in other people it does seem like something beautiful to me. And I can sure tell you that the people I’ve been close to who have these conditions have definitely appreciated that I see their struggles as something positive and becoming about them. It’s almost as if being liked and appreciated for what you see as your worst attribute can make you feel better about yourself!
Maybe other people do find the whole “You’ve got to make things okay for yourself” thing is inspiring, but to me and other people I know, it just sounds like you’re saying: “Hey, you know all of your daily struggles and battles against your own self-sabotaging mind, all of the ways you have tried to help yourself, the endless days you’ve spent trying to climb with your fingernails out of a muddy pit that everyone’s told you you’ve just gotten yourself into anyway? Well, it’s not good enough. You have to try harder— I don’t know how, but clearly it’s all just your problem, so don’t expect anyone to help you. That would be caring and selfless, and I somehow live in a world where you can never expect those things from another human being.”
I hope you can see where my disappointment lies.