Romanticizing mental illnesses

How people self-diagnose and use mental illness as an excuse.

Nyla Libed, Copy Editor, Co-Online Editor

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“I really need to fix that, sorry, it’s just my OCD.”

“Sorry I’m so distracted, I have ADHD, you know.”

“I was really sad yesterday, my depression was totally acting up.”

We’ve all most likely heard someone say some form of these excuses. Wearing mental illness as a token is becoming a norm for teens and young adults in our society, and this behavior is damaging our respect for actual struggles.

A mental disorder is something that you have to be diagnosed with by a professional. Some people, whether it’s by googling the symptoms or taking a “do you have depression?” quiz on the internet, assume that they have these mental disorders and diagnose themselves with them because they’re so sure that they don’t need to go see a doctor about it (which you should do if you think you have a mental disorder).

Or, in a much more annoying case, some people just say that they have a mental disorder to get attention. They think that because they “have” this mental disorder, they’re worthy of special treatment from their peers and their teachers.

Whether it’s false certainty or a craving for attention, claiming that you have a mental disorder is never a good thing. It’s an insult to the people who have truly been diagnosed with these disorders and struggle with them every day. By self-diagnosing, you are labelling their very real issue as “trendy” and “quirky”, which are not words that mental disorders should be associated with.

These issues are very real, and very hard to get through. There are better ways to get people’s attention than wearing the mental illness like it’s an accessory of sorts. It’s not worth it to insult someone’s entire mental state just so that that guy across the room in bio class will notice you.