By Veronica Drescher

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Many people don’t pay attention to mental illnesses or understand the severity of them. Mental illnesses like depression, OCD, anorexia, and bulimia are being put on the spot by society, and more often than not, being glorified for all the wrong reasons. Mental illnesses can be extremely debilitating, and sometimes as fatal as other illnesses.
Many of us have probably heard a joke or two about mental disorders. But is it really just a harmless laugh? Rife Magazine shines some light on it: “How many times have you caught someone saying ‘this is depressing me’ or ‘I’m so depressed’ to express something that is boring. Depression is very real. And very different to boredom or dislike.” Saying things about serious disorders you might not know much about just to seem cool, isn’t cool at all.
When people joke about mental illnesses, it can be extremely offensive to others. Countless times I hear people say things like “Depression isn’t an actual problem…” Or “Why don’t you just start eating like a normal person again? Anorexia isn’t that hard to beat.” Saying things like this is similar to telling a cancer patient they can “Just beat it, it’s not hard” Or telling someone who suffers from physical ailments that they shouldn’t be struggling. It also may offend people who have lost loved ones to mental illnesses. Disorders aren’t a mere obstacle, and it is important to know that.
It is not commonly known in adolescents why people have mental disorders. The Chicago Tribune pulls the wool aside in their article about mental disorders: “Most mental illnesses are caused by a biological chemical imbalance in the brain. Mental illness is a disease, just like cancer or diabetes. Would you favor an image or character that makes fun of those diseases? I would hope not.” Mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, can make one lose all will to function in its worst cases. Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that cause patients to starve themselves, or eat great quantities and regurgitate it later. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) will cause a person to become obsessed with things being certain ways, and compulsively acting on it. Another variation of OCD is Pure Obsessional OCD. Often dubbed as Pure-O, this is OCD, but much more obsessive and thoughtful, rather than instinctive. As you may see, these symptoms can be even more debilitating when extreme.
While mentally troubled people are bashed, bullied, or targeted for their mental state, many people don’t see it as a concern. The best thing to do if you think you are struggling with a mental illness is to reach out to a qualified adult, and don’t share it with the whole world. There is nothing wrong with sharing your troubles with others, but for serious stuff, keep it personal. It’s much better to confide in a family member or psychologist rather than your Instagram followers.  Things get better if you are willing to take steps toward making them better. You can also help other people with mental disorders by being respectful towards their feelings, and hearing them out. Don’t bash or joke about mental illnesses. It’s not funny, it’s not cool, and it’s only hurting people.

Source of picture slideshow: Annoymous