I see far too many status updates on social media written by teens claiming benign factors in life are giving them ‘anxiety’, that they ‘suffer’ with ‘depression’, or that their ‘insomnia is a bitch’. Nothing irritates me more than uninformed ‘cool kids’ throwing around these words and thinking it gives them cred to be troubled, angst-ridden and suffering with grown up problems.
Real depression is not being able to get out of bed in the morning; a feeling of such profound emptiness and literally thinking you have nothing to live for. It’s not a fleeting feeling of sadness following a TV episode or crying because your parents just “don’t get you”
Real panic attacks and anxiety disorders make every little social event – and the build up to it – excruciatingly difficult. Real anxiety is not ‘triggered’ by not being able to find something to wear, or your hair “not behaving itself” – if you were really suffering with bad anxiety, you wouldn’t be capable of worrying about such trivial things – all your energy would go into worrying about where you’re going, how long you’ll be there, planning to find all the exits just in case, and working on trying to calm yourself down. Stop saying you’ve got fucking anxiety when you haven’t. It’s insulting to people who suffer with this fucking thing every single day to no prevail.
Oh you have ‘insomnia’? I’m sure I would have ‘insomnia’ if I was tweeting and tumblring all night and taking selfies until 7am, too. Real insomnia is lying in the pitch black, tossing and turning for hours on end desperately willing your mind to just shut the fuck off and let you sleep. It’s not being in a bad sleep routine, either. You might be up until the early hours of the morning – but what are you doing during the afternoon and early evening? What’s that? Sleeping? But I thought you said you have… Oh never mind.
I’m part of a generation that think it’s intensely cool and ‘s0o0o hipster’ to suffer with mental health problems. It’s good that at least these things are seemingly becoming less of a taboo and getting talked about I suppose… But if that means having hanger-ons joining the bandwagon because mental illnesses are the latest ‘trend’, I’m not so sure.