Hollywood’s glorification of mental illness has got to stop

Savannah Libby | The Chronicle

The kid sitting in the corner alone at lunch that talks to nobody but themselves is a cliche for what you would picture for someone with poor mental health.

Now there are shows like “Thirteen Reasons Why” on Netflix that romanticize mental health and disorders. All over social media you see people putting out only what they want people to perceive them as. When someone does put out the truth about their mental health they are heavily criticized because it’s not what people want to see.

Mental illness and disorders have been talked about more than ever in the past twenty years than in all of history. Along with that is the criticism that you receive from posting about it. Even if you discuss your mental health with your friends or with anybody outside of your family there’s an assumption that’s been made because of social media.

I can distinctly remember when my parents got divorced and my friends would publicly shame me about it. An old friend of mine told me that I should be ashamed of myself in front of a fairly large group of people. We didn’t talk for much longer after that.

Even something minute that is out of your control like an allergy or going on medication to deal with your problems can leave you in a spiral. A click of a button can have people circulating rumors about how you are crazy, or need to be in a hospital. A good example is if you post something on your story on Instagram about eating disorders. The fact of the matter is that people are struggling.

Eating disorders aren’t just anorexia and eating nothing all day until the point where you’re breaking down. Although anorexia is a form of eating disorder it’s not everything that exists. Along with how there’s a difference between showing up everyday to school drained and people noticing your symptoms. Versus the alternative of being the happiest person in the world to other people but having a diagnosis for anxiety or depression.

Mental illnesses can come in all shapes and forms. There is no winning if you’re diagnosed, it’s a battle that you have to fight. There is no right way to talk about what is going on inside your head without people judging you. The goal that should be accomplished on social media with mental awareness should be spreading awareness and providing a platform for people to find out if they should seek help. It’s always a good idea to talk to a mental health professional if you are struggling with something that seems off about yourself.

I try to limit my time on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. I know that the longer I remain on the site the more stuff and information I am going to see that belittles the severity of having a diagnosis. People are very unrealistic on social media with what they post versus what they are struggling with. I try to make it a point to realize that and to encourage people I know to talk to someone even if they seem ‘fine’ because sometimes it is always who you least expect.