During mental health week, I’ve come across huge movements on Facebook, on Instagram and on other social media platforms which talk about the importance of mental health, giving us a platform to break the taboos that are associated with mental disorders. Gone are the days when we would shy away from conversations about therapists and medication. Much to the benefit of the narcotics industry, mood stabilizers and antidepressants are pretty much in the mainstream now.
However, like most other conversations and debates taking place in comment threads, mental health has ventured into a territory that is rapidly slipping through the cracks of commercialisation and weaponization. The current generation uses the word ‘depression’ lightly, which is not their fault entirely. Depression is a term that had been thrown around way too much to describe the slightest melancholia experienced during adolescence or loss of jobs. However, we are entering a phase where people are claiming to have epilepsy and ADHD and bipolarism on social media to gimmick the foundations of what makes them the people they are. Sure, it’s okay to be a bad person and own up to it but it’s beyond unethical to use mental disorders which actually alter the courses of the lives of people to try and weasel out of inconveniences caused by being held accountable for your actions.
Terms like clinical depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, kleptomania, pathological lying multiple personalities, and anger have been thrown into a reductive box through which we try and defend our ‘issues’. Now the problem isn’t pondering with the idea of placing your issues within a category but to expect unconditional forgiveness and clemency due to having those issues. Fitting into the role of a victim and expecting people around you to bear with behavioural disorders is selfish to say the least. The appropriate way to deal with a mental illness is to try and limit the effects it can have on your personality so that individuals who have signed up for your life do not have to sacrifice their own truths to uphold yours. I myself have suffered from relentless depression for years and have put my close friends and family through borderline torture for the most part of the time when I refused diagnosis. But it’s just as toxic to expect those around you to pick up the pieces of your destructive tendencies. Weaponization of mental health to trivialize the plight of those around you who don’t have the means or the privilege to write paragraphs about it on Facebook is a major setback of the capitalist mentality that we have ingrained as a generation growing up on a socially imposed condition to advertise our lives brazenly.