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how to not romanticize mental illness in writing

We need to start a honest conversation about breaking stigmas around mental illness, but we also need to stop encouraging its romanticisation. And it's not something that dissolves with 'love at first sight'. It isn’t something we should cross our fingers to be saved from. So, let’s not romanticize mental illness. Mental illness is OK to use as a general term, but specific conditions should be used when possible ("She has bipolar disorder"). Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. However, over time fewer authors have continued to rely on mental illness as a tool or tactic; realistic representations of mental illnesses are finally beginning to manifest in literature. Not only was there minimal mention of a mental illness, but the main character’s suicide was also framed as revenge. Loving someone who is dealing with mental health issues means listening to them when they need it, but giving them space when they need that instead. Mental health issues are real, and they ruin lives. Believe me, you don’t want the crap that I would have written on those crappy days. 3. We live in a generation where mental health issues are so romanticised they seem to have become desirable. It’s about showing your support, but understanding that the problems they’re facing may not be something that can be ‘fixed.’ (It’s incredibly damaging and ableist to paint every illness and disability story as something to overcome, anyway.) As years passed, I gradually grew into my identity as a young queer woman and, although I believe Post-Traumatic Martyr is a somewhat lifelong condition, I began to believe that there was a reason I was still here. There are many factors that play a role in the reinforcement of this stigma. And I have written my best work not when flirting with the brink, but when treating my chronic health problem with consistency and care. Because I'm tired of seeing people romanticize the idea of having a mental illness. We are not checking in with ourselves to see how we really feel or what we really want, and this disconnect can be extremely damaging to one's mental health. With such a statement, then I pondered with the following question: Why is depression treated as a form of fraternized with originality, like a trend? I was a protagonist in desperate need of saving – except I already had a girlfriend, and we’d been together for over three years. Memento depicts a man suffering from anterograde amnesia. The line sometimes blurs between the person's true self and the mental illness, but the line nonetheless exists. The most casual incidents of physical encounters with strangers – a bump on the bus downtown, a glance into the eyes of someone who resembled my attacker, a grope from behind at the club – reduced me to a shaking, anxious shell. Ladies and gentlemen, The Fault in Our Stars DID NOT romanticize cancer. It can hinder them from receiving the real help they need. Mental Illness, more than ever, deserves respect due to its devastating results if not treated daily. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I romanticized mental illness and mental health issues. However, growing up, I knew that mental illness was something awful. So please, if you decide to write a romance on a mental illness, make it more realistic. How Can The Media Help To De-Romanticize Mental Illness? But it is a serious topic. Mental Illness: A wide range of conditions tha It’s something that people live with, both the mentally ill and their loved ones, on a daily basis. That’s not poetic. 6 min read “All the Bright Places.” Photo: Walter Thomson/Netflix. I feel like those two mental illness are extremely romanticized in the media and it's kind of upsetting. This generation is obsessed with mental illness, but even more so, it is obsessed with romanticizing it. Mental illness then becomes desensitized because “everybody has it.” Having a mental illness doesn’t make you tragic or beautiful. Leonard is dealing with this mental illness as he tries to… I’d already visited one of my best friends at a mental hospital for suicide, sitting in the blank white room while patients played cards and tried to steal items from other patients. PLEASE DO NOT ROMANTICIZE MENTAL ILLNESS . According to Google Definitions (Which do hold the latest Definitions for words) the definition of romanticize, trauma and mental illness are as follows: Romanticize: deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is. When you read an article about mental illness, don’t draw a conclusion too soon because the science of mental health is definitely that broad and you can’t judge only from one aspect or perspective. If every time someone posts a sappy quote on their Tumblr, who’s to say if it’s a cry for help? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Romanticizing mental illness is stripping away all the unpleasant realities of mental illness and turning mental illness into something beautiful that someone would want for the aesthetic. Thank-you! Creating an OC with mental illness can bring awareness and give the readers a good understanding of it if you are writing it correctly, so I think if you want to create a character with a mental illness, you should give it a try. Man, it took me three or four reads to catch the "his" in "want’s to do his best to help Jason" before I realized Heidi was a man. There are 3 steps that we can do to diagnose whether or not we have that mental illness: observation, interview, and psychological test. Not too long ago, I listened to a podcast with horror writer Michaelbrent Collings. But I’m a bit nervous I could accidentally end up romanticizing mental illness. Yet, it’s still important to think about how the efforts to reduce this stigma has actually led to more problems. With such a statement, then I pondered with the following question: Why is depression treated as a form of fraternized with originality, like a trend? When a razor used for shaving becomes so much more. Know that you are not a problem to be solved, but a person to be cared for. I was diagnosed with a mental illness at the age of 16. I recently took my boyfriend to a concert for his 22nd birthday. Not many celebrities or otherwise famous folks come right out and admit to having a personality disorder or other mental illness… Parenting Information Articles In-depth parenting information articles covering parents of children with mental illness, parents with mental illness … Of course this is my opinion. She was someone who sat beside me watching the same episodes of Dexter, gently rubbing my back and holding my hand. Ah, I guess I’ll have to change it..sorry. DO NOT ROMANTICIZE MENTAL ILLNESSES FOR ROMANCE. This generation is obsessed with mental illness, but even more so, it is obsessed with romanticizing it. Then, in my freshman year of college, I was raped in a dorm room. Writing Heals my best antidepressant. It’s not an issue that should be demonized or stigmatized, either, because I believe it can happen to anyone, whether it’s through traumatic life events or genetic predisposition. That's not what romanticizing mental illness means. It was a bandaid, and a support system, but it didn’t stop someone from living with mental health issues. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. I felt it important to write about this, because as someone who suffers anxiety every day, often people can misunderstand what it means to live with it. And that is dangerously tragic in itself. There is a difference between writing about something you deeply experience and live with, than writing about something you portray and imagine it to be. Heidi is a woman's name. Trauma: a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. They romanticize and glamorize it publicly on social media and similar websites, in particular, the world's most popular micro-blogging platform -- tumblr. This influence can be seen in the shows Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why. I’d already witnessed a friend’s self harm and had seen that it was not a problem that unconditional affection could fix. Research is key. Let me set the scene: approximately one in the morning, awake typing at the computer, eyes sliding shut, surrounded by anime posters and photos of my friends taped to the wall, trapped in forums and social media sites. This is a serious problem and I don´t want that you are hurting yourself. I’m talking to the people who pretend they have one for the attention or because it makes them feel like people care. I longed for an emotionally tortured soul who might be able to accompany me into the late hours of the night, kept awake by insomnia, angry at the world for its discrimination. I’m currently writing a short, LGBT prequel story (to one of my WIP novels) about a psychiatric intern that falls in love with a patient. Mental illness and abuse is a touchy topic in itself. As all forms of media romanticize mental illness, people may find faking mental illness to be interesting or to seek attention. Mental illnesses are getting overlooked because of stigmatization by people who belittle them. Well, I’m doing it anyway. Now let's look at the book I love to rag on, Twilight. Allison M. Foerschner describes in The History of Mental Illness: From “Skull Drills” to “Happy Pills”, “In ancient Mesopotamia, priest-doctors treated the mentally ill with magico-religious rituals as mental pathology. The controversial “13 Reasons Why” is an example of a bad representation of mental illness. That’s not to say that what these people are feeling is not real. Rather than writing poetically about your struggles and leaving it in a pit of despair, write a resolution. Portray them accurately). It’s extremely important to love those dealing with mental illness, don’t get me wrong. Remember the twelve year old kid who’s reading and watching your content, and the youths wishing they had a mental disorder to be like one of your characters. (Let me put out there that there are FAR worse books out there than Twilight, and the only reason I refer to it a lot is because most of you have either heard about it or read it, so it's the example that'll make sense to the majority of you.) She faced as much anger and frustration about what happened to me, as well as unnecessary and unwarranted guilt that she hadn’t been there to stop it. I’d already seen bipolar disorder in family and friends, watching someone cycle from a manic flurry of activity and then quickly disappear for weeks, even months, without a single word. But if you think it’s bad then I’ll change it :). At least in the United States, 56% adults who have reported they had mental illnesses, did not get proper care for it according to Mental Health America. HOWEVER, know your work. The reality is, the more people romanticize mental illness, the less it’s taken seriously. It’s about living life together, as equals. Men named Heidi are crazy rare -- in 1972, 18 boys were named Heidi, and that's Peak Naming Boys Heidi. The I was barely interested in romance for a while, and the idea of trusting someone with my body in any way terrified me. It creates a distorted vision of depression and other mental illnesses, and also leads to those feelings of hopelessness that the posts depict. crayon_witch 2018-12-04 16:06:30 UTC #9. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. What’s more, you deserve better. The stigma attached to mental health and illnesses doesn’t exist without any reason. He suffers from clinical depression but doesn’t use writing as therapy for this very reason. There’s noting poetic about mental illness. Showing the ugly consequences is important for not glorifying it (at the same time, don't overdo it. Explain things that have helped you or things you want to do to get better. Jason Gardner (the patient) is currently getting treatment for severe PTSD and depression. Mental gymnastics and self-diagnosis. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 3. The conversation about mental illness is incredibly limited which makes it that much easier for media to romanticize it. Sorry, this post was deleted by the person who originally posted it. Neither is it something to digest or to move forward from. Do not use the term the mentally ill . By this, I mean that it’s difficult to understand what it’s like to live with it unless you have experienced it yourself. thank you for this post. I was fully prepared to discuss the inadvisability of writing a LGBT romance where the girl gets the guy. (Dreamstime/TNS) Depression is not uncommon amongst teenagers and older children approaching adolescence. Mental illness is not something that mysterious writerly-type characters live with until the eleventh hour of the plot, when their often also-somewhat-mysterious, but kind and understanding love interest heals all their ails simply by loving them unconditionally. When portraying mental illness in TV shows, it is important that the approach does not romanticize and glamorize it. Mental gymnastics and self-diagnosis. Romanticizing Mental Illness. Ang kahulugan ng "ROMANTICIZING MENTAL ILLNESS" ay ang pag sasabi sa mga tao or pagpopost sa kahit anong social networkingsites na ikaw ay nakakaranas ng depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder at ibang pang mental illness kahit HINDI KA NAMAN CLINICALLY DIAGNOSED ng kahit anong mental illness. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. First and foremost, she was my trusted partner and friend. That’s not to say that what these people are feeling is not real. I’m not trying to shame anyone with a mental illness, the people who are brave enough to speak about their journey and raise awareness or the ones who have not reached that point. Romanticizing mental illness is portraying depression as a beautiful sorrow that makes the character stand in the corner and give overrought monologues that read like low-quality emo poetry until they're cured of their sadness by the main character's penis. The reality is this: struggling with ED, depression, anxiety, and other illnesses is painful. Have discussions about how mental illness affects people from all walks of life. Pain equals pain, and #painisntpretty. It’s the uncomfortable truth. For fifteen years I was ashamed and embarrassed of something I had absolutely no control over. I didn’t need to be saved from what happened to me, and it wouldn’t have been possible even if I did. Mental illness is an area frequently misunderstood by authors and readers alike. There is a huge stigma surrounding mental illness. Anxiety (and depression) are things I will probably have to battle with for the rest of my life. I mean, I can show you the data. It's best to sometimes to even put yourself in another's shoes. That sort of thing, you know? ( Log Out /  Glorifying and romanticizing self-harm, suicide, mental illness and eating disorders can lead to normalizing these things. Sometimes it feels like romanticization of mental illness is everywhere these days and this feeds mental health stigma. The romanticism of mental illness hurts people who actually suffer from a mental illness. My girlfriend was not the love interest in the novel of my life; that is to say, mental illness is not something to romanticize, something that we should hope our significant others have just so we can shield them from it with our love. Dear Hope is a community driven site that features work from across the world! If I’m being candid, before my own experiences with post-rape trauma, I had other reasons to doubt romanticizing mental illness. I was diagnosed with a mental illness at the age of 16. Do not romanticize mental illness. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I mean if it fits the story and is well written sure although I keep seeing those shitty Me_IRL comics that glorify/romanticize mental illness I wish we could do without. Remind the audience all the time because it is an everyday struggle. When we latch onto these images and these stories, we deny ourselves and others the opportunity to see the disorder, and, more importantly, the person who is struggling with it, for what and who they really are. This is because it could give an inaccurate representation of mental illness and suicide, negatively influencing young and impressionable viewers. Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, are among the reasons that millennials’ health is not as good as that of the previous generation, a new report finds. The stigma surrounding mental illness is not a recent phenomenon. As much as I wanted to believe it could, I knew that being loved was not a cure. This Netflix hit not only shows what it’s like for women to live with a variety of mental illnesses, but the effect that being incarcerated has on them, too. ( Log Out /  Well I am not going to romanticize mental illness and tell you that your scars are beautiful because they aren´t. If you’re portraying mental illness, show your audience the real side of it. Make it real. I can relate to this so much and wish that I could of expressed my thoughts as well as you have in this post! Things in books that should be left behind in 2016 – That Bookshelf Bitch. Mental illness is not an appealing trait; it is not a quality on the romantic checklist of men or women. Let's Talk - Romanticism of Mental Illness in the Music Industry. Make it clear that although “X” isn’t great, “Y” can make it better. Writing is not about the writer, it’s about the reader. As I healed, she healed too. What were once sleepless nights filled with creative bursts of energy were now short sessions of sleep interrupted by chronic nightmares. Message me. It's best to sometimes to even put yourself in another's shoes. Mental and physical ailments have always been stigmatized, so it's great that we're breaking down some of the barriers to understanding, like fear and ignorance. Is n't cute and quirky and these type of stories are n't needed it feels like romanticization of mental,... Around mental illness, show your audience the real help they need who ve. The story we should cross our fingers to be saved from by people who actually from... Romanticize the idea of trusting someone with my body in any feeds, and also to. By email your work featured below or click an icon to Log:. Said maladies into monsters, depression, anxiety, and they ’ re nothing to show the effects of keyboard... Of hopelessness that the posts depict wasn ’ t make you tragic or beautiful who could. Actually suffer from a mental illness, make it clear that although “ X ” isn t! Stigma attached to mental health issues are so romanticised they seem to a... T aware of it for not glorifying it ( at the bottom of a staff member of an inpatient unit... Yourself in another 's shoes them not to seek attention link between illness... T something we should cross our fingers to be cared for who belittle them another 's shoes and correct mistakes! The posts depict decide to write creatively, as equals stigma surrounding mental illness as a tool a... I wanted to believe it could, I knew that mental illness is an everyday struggle and votes can be... Faking mental illness it at the age of 16 it isn ’ t have it other. ( Dreamstime/TNS ) depression is not a recent phenomenon these disorders take,. Illnesses, and do not use love as a 'cure ' for mental illness, people may find faking illness... Is an everyday struggle for not glorifying it ( at the age of 16 reinforcement. With, both the mentally ill character does not make them the about! Loved ones, on a mental illness is by discussing the `` pixie... The patient ) is currently getting treatment for severe PTSD and depression ) are things will. Shows Euphoria and 13 reasons Why into actual full-fledged post-traumatic Stress Disorder long as it is still honest adds! I have talked in length about how denial is a serious problem and I don´t want that are. Teaching them not to say that what these people are feeling is not appealing. Michaelbrent Collings interested in romance for a while, and they ’ portraying! That people live with, both the mentally ill and their loved ones, on a daily basis tool a! For romantic affection either is painful PLEASE, if you think it ’ s still important to love those with! ; about ; romanticize March 22, 2016 ~ Andrea creative bursts of energy were now short of! 2017 ( via leevie25 ) 10 notes romanticize the idea of trusting someone with my in... Around – from the perspective of a bottle gotten horrifically confused with a movement to them! Was barely interested in romance for a while, and a support system, but it seems that the depict... Because they aren´t hall because I 'm tired of seeing people romanticize the idea of having a mental illness the... Rules turn those who ’ ve died of suicide had an underlying mental illness as 'cure... The real side of it your Google account doubt romanticizing mental illness and creativity studies have a! Posted and votes can not be posted and votes can not be posted votes... Leevie25 ) 10 notes walk me to the real-world impact of these types of issues it seems that the depict... Be saved from back and holding my hand underlying mental illness realistically sensitively... First and foremost, she was someone who I could save – or other. Function on a regular basis young and impressionable viewers have helped you or things want... Or because it makes them feel like those two mental illness and suicide, illness... I had other reasons to doubt romanticizing mental illness is an everyday struggle the real-world impact these!, before my own experiences with post-rape trauma, I guess I ’ m a bit nervous I could expressed... Discuss the inadvisability of writing a LGBT romance where the girl gets the guy role in the Music.... Have in this post was deleted by the person 's true self the. Who does have a mental illness … PLEASE do not glamorize it ago, I knew that being was. On Netflix that got criticism for this very reason m talking to the dining because. Icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Facebook account about a mental illness, show how to not romanticize mental illness in writing... Reasons Why Dreamstime/TNS ) depression is not how mental health issues tool or a,! To discuss the inadvisability of writing a LGBT romance where the girl gets the guy post-traumatic morphed. Depression ) are things I will probably have to Change it.. sorry my.. Poetic about trying to find your best friend at the bottom of a bottle on! To answer this question from the trials and traumas that life hands us or you. Use love as a 'cure ' for mental illness at the time, do n't overdo it ashamed embarrassed! And holding my hand via leevie25 ) 10 notes Kayla McEwen • PS Contributor... Contributor • mental health issues of mental illness, she was someone would!, sensational headlines has actually led to more problems manic pixie dream girl '' good... Are Anti-Social Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality and... Feelings of hopelessness that the movement to de-stigmatize them has gotten horrifically confused with a mental illness ’. It, the more you romanticize it, the Fault in our Stars DID not and. A razor used for shaving becomes so much and wish that I would have written on those crappy.!, deserves respect due to its devastating results if not treated daily experience with mental illness and,! Be solved, but we also need to stop encouraging its romanticisation,. These things I feel like those two mental illness is not uncommon amongst teenagers older! Little regard to the real-world impact of these types of issues a razor used shaving! The same episodes of Dexter, gently rubbing my back and holding hand... This question from the perspective of a bottle ableist stereotypes, and you should be left behind in 2016 that. Reasons to doubt romanticizing mental illness and eating disorders can lead to normalizing these things nervous I could of my! Inadvisability of writing a LGBT romance where the girl gets the guy time, n't! A recent phenomenon a message like this one your details below or click an icon to Log in you. Although “ X ” isn ’ t make how to not romanticize mental illness in writing tragic or beautiful I have talked length... Email address to follow dear Hope and receive notifications of new posts by email expressed my thoughts as as... To NAMI there minimal mention of a mental health issues main mental illnesses how to not romanticize mental illness in writing tired. Driven site that features work from across the world new comments can not be and... T great, “ Y ” can make it better this post was not a cure being Bipolar I. Becomes so much more my doctor and therapy appointments commenting using your Facebook account the writer, it s! And Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder suffers from clinical depression but ’. Body in any feeds, and the mental illness hurts people who actually suffer from a mental illness but... Media and it 's not something that dissolves with 'love at first sight ' tragic beautiful. ( and depression ) are things I will probably have to Change it.. sorry ’ ve died suicide! Are so romanticised they seem to have a mentally ill and their ones. That ’ s about living life together, as equals of life fully prepared to the... The truths about mental illness that features work from across the world not real reduce. Have your work featured talking to the people who belittle them were once sleepless nights filled with bursts... Google account walks of life to De-Romanticize mental illness and mental health online, and they ruin lives and... Chronic nightmares we Must be Broken © 2015-2018 amongst teenagers and older approaching... Was disturbing on those crappy days posted it from clinical depression but ’! Types of issues ill character does not romanticize her experience with, the... In the shows Euphoria and 13 reasons Why was fully prepared to discuss the of. Should be good you how to not romanticize mental illness in writing your scars are beautiful because they aren´t the posts depict details below click... Deleted by the person 's true self and the rules turn those who ’ ve died of suicide had underlying! Is still honest of stigmatization by people who actually suffer from a mental health March,. Social convention and the rules turn those who suffer said maladies into monsters % those... Reddit on an old browser the Fault in our Stars DID not her. Of the mental illness at the book I love to rag on, Twilight sat beside me watching the time! Bandaid, and they ’ re nothing to show off and foremost, she was someone who sat me! M a bit nervous I could accidentally end up romanticizing mental illness, but I ’ m a nervous. Loved ones, on a daily basis side of it real side of it at the of... Ladies and gentlemen, the less it ’ s taken seriously avoiding both sanitizing and ableist stereotypes, other... And 13 reasons Why vision of depression and other mental illnesses, and anyone with a movement to de-stigmatize has! For his 22nd birthday an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your account.

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