I think it’s safe to say we can blame the character Effy from Skins for this phenomena, or maybe Tumblr, but somewhere down the line the idea of having mental health issues like depression or anxiety got romanticised. They got affiliated with the lost soul, pretty pale girl who needs saving but can’t do it herself. It’s also shown in tv shows and movies through the sad, hopeless heroine who is doomed to go down this endless spiral whilst also looking beautiful whilst doing it.
Now, I hope we know how serious mental health issues are in 2019, they literally push people to the brink, make life difficult and can unfortunately lead to suicide, so this trope is really fucking with people wanting to get help. When they watch the hopeless heroine go through life, she always looks good whilst doing it and never seems to seek help. In some cases they also miraculously get better without doing any of the work needed to power through mental health issues. The lack of representation of the ugly side and the journey to getting help is leading people down the rabbit hole, and it’s not a fun place to be in.
It’s really important that we stop seeing depression or anxiety in a romanticised light. It’s not cute, or pretty – it’s debilitating. When people are also suffering from it, the romantic view on it makes it difficult to explain what they’re going through, let alone actually getting help for it. So I ask, in 2019, for us to stop looking at these issues with the rosey view, and let’s just take it for what it is, fucking difficult, and something people need help and support to deal with.