There is no way to start this with sunshine and daisies, and quite frankly, it’s too valuable to paint a glittering escapade around. Mental illness has become a topic of trend in media, and with that, the validation of battling mental illness has been construed.
The DSM-5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by the American Psychiatric Association, recognizes that each and every disorder has a selection of symptoms and severities. Unfortunately, society does not understand that same interpretation. Many people like to think that they have the ability to diagnose someone based off of their Grey’s Anatomy catalog of cases or from symptoms that their friend’s sister’s boyfriend possessed. The truth of the matter is that every mental illness has as many variations as there are social inequalities: an unspeakable amount.
With this in mind, it is important to be mindful of someone who has been psychiatrically diagnosed with a mental disorder, and someone who is simply experiencing stress or unpleasurable times in life that may trigger them to act a certain way. Dealing with difficulties in life can be abstract for everyone, and many times, people are faced with situations they have never even considered how to respond to. Where someone with a mental illness may experience a day of discomfort and be able to move on the next day after something goes awry, someone with an impairment may not have as easy of a trip. Life can be tolling, and when dealing with a constant mental illness that keeps one from acting how they wish they could control, it is typical for someone to react in a way that seems extreme or dramatic. Showing understanding for those going through hard times is important, but showing just an ounce more of empathy for those with an illness can go a long way in their recovery process.
One of the most overly and incorrectly used terms thrown around in today’s society is regarding the state of being depressed. A student will fail an exam and say they are depressed. A cashier that was denied for a promotion declares that they are depressed. These feelings are disappointment, sadness. They are not depression. There is no clear cut marker of when depression became a mainstream term for people to use in order to categorize the temporary displeasure they are feeling, but it most definitely has rapidly grown has media has made a greater presence in communication. Although most people do not use these terms with intention of ignorance or insult, language is perhaps the most commonly crossed lines in society.
There is no glitz and glamor to mental illness. The seemingly endless days of exhaustion and dread for no rhyme or reason does not offer anything valuable. Having to silence the rapid and loud noise going on in one’s mind in order to simply identify which voice is their true and honest conscience is painful. Many more cases of reported mental illness have come about within the last few years, as some of the most powerful media-hosted movements have come to screen. This outburst does not equate to normalization or trendiness of mental illness.