Romanticism of mental health is a huge problem as it not only makes people with personal experiences regarding mental health seem less important by taking away their experiences, but it also makes mental health seem like a joke.
“It’s drastically affecting the way teenagers feel about themselves, making us feel like our feelings are invalidated” said Caitlin Foster, a year 10 student.
The romanticism of mental health is commonly seen in books and on social media platforms, being visible most on Twitter and Instagram.
The deterioration of mental health has been a problem for far longer than it should be, as anxiety and depression were seen for centuries as a sign of psychosis, dubbing those that had these mental illnesses “crazy”.
Only in the last 20 years or so has it been seen as a serious issue, gaining more attention, and helping those with mental health issues seek the help that they deserve.
It has been a blessing but a curse with the recent light on mental health issues, with many people still believing that mental health issues are not a serious problem, and with romanticism of mental illness gaining traction on social media.
“For example, a common misconception around mental health issues is that they cannot be prevented as they are genetic. This example is a type of misconception that may prevent teenagers or any type of individual from seeking help or support out of a fear that change is not possible” said Leah Castrission, guidance officer from Park Ridge State High School.
“No mental health sources have properly helped me; it feels like we’re stuck and we have to get over it ourselves.” said Melissa Garven, grade 10 student.
“Teenagers or any one at all struggling with mental health should not have to feel as though they don’t have any help. Although, this is what students are commonly conflicted with. Teenagers feel as though they have little to no access to help.”
The romanticism of mental illness can include making it seem like a fun thing to have. Some people describing it as “cute” or use it as a personality trait to get attention, making it seem like having depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, anger issues and other serious mental health issues as “aesthetically pleasing.”
Some individuals may have a heightened focus of their fluctuating mental state due to the romanticism of mental health, but those with genuine symptoms understand that their mental health is impacting their life regardless of any romanticism.
Romanticism of mental health has recently become an issue and still has little to no awareness on this topic, spreading awareness about this issue can truly help.
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