I think the problem with today’s society is that everyone is so quick to self-diagnose. If you think back to even 5 years ago it was considered shameful or looked down upon to categorize yourself as someone with a mental illness.
Yes, it is very possible that because it is more “accepted” now people are admitting to it more.
But, at the same time I think this generation confuses emotion with actual brain malfunction.
A lot of people think that because they feel extreme sadness they must have depression, or they are quick to change their moods so they must be bipolar; in reality this is far from the case.
It is possible to feel emotion without there being something chemically wrong within your brain. Society is so desensitized that when someone feels emotion, they are brainwashed into thinking that is not okay therefore something must be wrong with them.
WAKE UP PEOPLE! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL EMOTION!
In addition to that, people use these mental illnesses as a way to categorize someone’s behavior: “wow, what is wrong with her? she’s acting so bipolar.” I don’t think people realize how hurtful it is for people that actually suffer from mental illnesses to see other people take these issues so lightly. Every day is a struggle when you have a mental illness- it is not a feeling that passes or that can be changed by conventional happiness.
This shows us that mental illness as a whole is still considered an alienation and although it is a negative situation, it doesn’t make someone less of a person. It’s interesting to me that people are so quick to call someone sexist or racist when they have a generalized stereotype.
But when people have stereotypes about mental illness it is just brushed off, like it is funny or true. Why is it that we find it so wrong to judge someone because of their skin colour or their sexuality.
But not their mental state? It works the same way, (not in all cases but in most) mental illness is biological and something you are born with.
Why is it not acceptable to say, “You’re so gay” but is acceptable to say “you’re so bipolar”?
The point of my post is not to rag on those who do the things stated above. But, it is to show you how hurtful your words really are. We may not say anything when you make these statements, but we feel them and we remember them.
Someone could be trying to open up to you. But, that will never happen if you don’t show them that you take mental illness seriously. With or without knowing it, being open minded and serious when using words related to mental illness, you could save someone’s life, Or, at the very least, make their day just a little less awful.