I spoke to a few people before I decided to post this little (ha! Sorry) rant, and we were all in agreement so here goes! This is on a similar note to something posted the other day, about how depression is not simply being sad about something. And having anxiety is so much more than being anxious about something like an exam or a meeting.
A few of us feel that mental illnesses are very “in” right now, as if it’s almost fashionable to have a problem. @love.lin.28 said something recently about how people are thinking of having anxiety as “cute”, and of course it’s far from it. It’s messy and tiring and mentally and physically painful.
But not only is this view frustrating, it’s damaging. It’s damaging to the support system available to those who genuinely need it, and it’s damaging to the way people view mental illness.
Being sad because of something that has happened is not depression. Depression is being unable to feel like yourself, unable to do anything you used to do with any kind of energy, it’s more than sadness, it comes in waves, and it has no rational reason.
Being fearful because you have a big event coming up does not mean you have anxiety, it means you’re human. Anxiety is panic attacks when you’re literally just sitting there, it’s being afraid to take the dog for a walk but you don’t really know why, it’s a heart rate that feels like a constant drum roll, it’s sweating and shivering and crying and confusion. It is most certainly not cute.
To be honest the illness I see most abused in this way is OCD, people confuse OCD with being a perfectionist, and all sorts of other crap.