There is a lot to consider in this article, and I hope that many of us in the “advocate” community will stop to consider it. What is the difference between trying to destigmatize mental health issues, and making them look glamorous?
“There is no quick and dirty guide for how we can do sad online culture responsibly.
“Both are happening online, with obvious examples of glorification and obvious examples of normalization that allow people to get the support they need,” says Whitlock, the Cornell professor. “But there’s a lot of gray in between, and the answer of whether or not it does more harm than good depends on who’s reading it and what their personal filters for perception are.”
The answer isn’t a wholesale eradication — which isn’t possible even if we wanted it. Like many things in 2019, what we need is more careful consideration.”
I’m all for more careful consideration. I’m also all for the simple truth. When I talk about my own history of child abuse and major depression, I try to stick to the truth. I’m not here to compete with other survivor stories, not here to be the biggest victim, the one who has suffered the most, or to make being a survivor look cool. It’s not cool. It sucks. It’s not something to aspire to. I can respect survivors, and people who are dealing with mental health issues, but I don’t have to glorify them. None of us deserve worship, just respect, and we can fight for that respect without making our struggles more than they are.
What do you think, do you find too much glorification of mental health struggles online? Or do we still need to do more to fight stigma and get people to talk about mental health?
Maybe it’s both.