Hi I'm Ishmael and I have things to say about mental illness
stop. using. mental. illnesses. as. adjectives. especially. if. you. are. not. mentally. ill.
OCD is not just being super organized and a neat freak. It's washing your hands a dozen times in a row and being unable or unwilling to stop. Organization may be part of it, but that is not the entire disorder
Depression is not being sad for two days. It's a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can destroy people's lives. It's not some quirky label you can slap on yourself because your parents won't let you go to a Fall Out Boy concert. It's not "I'm so serious and mysterious uwu" it's not immediately cured because some cute boy talks to you and tells you to be happy. It's so much more than just being "sad".
We're all anxious sometimes. It's literally ingrained in us as a species. That doesn't mean you have anxiety if you don't like public speaking. The majority of Americans feel uncomfortable and are afraid of public speaking. Anxiety, and specifically the one I'm most familiar with, social anxiety, is not raising your hand in class because you're afraid you'll sound stupid, all day every day. It's overthinking everything you say and do. It's taking forever to send a text because you agonize over every word, and feeling like you must have done something horribly wrong when they take the same amount of time to text you back. It's why I mirror people's writing and speech patterns in conversations so they'll like me more. It's finding it difficult to eat in front of people because they must be judging you, holding on to a piece of trash for an absurd amount of time because you aren't sure if it's okay to throw it away, it's never turning in your test first even though you usually finish early for fear of drawing attention to yourself
Being aware of the symptoms of mental illnesses is good, not only for yourself but so you can recognize them in the people around you. Relating to one or two symptoms does not automatically mean you have that illness. You can't just cherry pick what symptoms you have so you can be cute and quirky. Mental illnesses are not a trend, and they certainly shouldn't be your entire personality
and please, for the love of everything, stop calling people sociopaths/psychopaths just because they're manipulative jerks. Sociopath is an outdated term as-is. Mental disorders and illnesses should never be used as an insult. I understand them being used as dark jokes, we all have different senses of humor, but don't take that as an excuse to be mean about that, either. If your depression jokes are making someone visibly uncomfortable, stop. Don't call them 'triggered', don't try to play it off like they're too sensitive, just respect their boundaries.
RESEARCH THE HECK OUT OF WHATEVER YOU ARE PLANNING TO USE FOR A CHARACTER, DONT FEED THE STIGMA, AVOID STEREOTYPES AND HARMFUL TROPES WHEN YOU CAN
Let's use Bird Box as an example. Mentally ill people are SO villainized in that movie. Only using mentally ill/'psychotic' people as your villains is a slippery slope at best and is downright harmful to real life people
romanticising mental illness is downright awful. i'm just gonna say that, it speaks for itself
we need to do better as a society to erase the stigmas. Men can be mentally ill without being seen as weak. Women are often misdiagnosed or their voices of concern are silenced altogether. giving better mental health education. provide and fund more accessible resources and facilities. address problematic views and work to dismantle them
I'm sick and tired of seeing it.