Public service announcement:
ALL MENTAL ILLNESS IS VALID
If you’re white: VALID
If you’re rich: VALID
If you’re a teenager or child: VALID
If you’re heterosexual: VALID
If you’re cisgender: VALID
If you’re able-bodied: VALID
Viewing health in the context of the intersectionality of oppression (i.e. as it interacts with racism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty etc) is hugely important, but that does not mean we get to write-off the struggles of anyone who is living with mental illness.
Seriously, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts like the below around lately and it’s really upsetting:
“i’m so depressed,” posted the caucasion heterosexual cisgender teenage girl on her blog
Ok good. Glad we cleared that one up.
See, while I understand, I really don’t think that that was what gaymzee was getting at. No, we should not write off the struggles of anybody with mental illness because of privilege or status, but at the same time, lets think back to where we’ve seen a large majority of people online talking about how they’re depressed.
About all the people saying how “depressed” they are and how they’re going to kill themselves or run away from home because they didn’t get the new iPhone for christmas.
The girls who constantly whine about how depressed they are because they missed an episode of Jersey Shore or someone they like isn’t paying full attention to them because they’re busy or something. They’re not even remotely depressed because of any of those things they complain about; sad perhaps, but not depressed.
So see, while gaymzee may not have worded it in the right way, I understand where the intention is with the post.
What I noticed, is that the real concept of what depression is, is lost on people who dont have it. They dont realise exactly what, and how serious a thing depression is.
In fact, it seems to be the ones who are a little bit sad or upset who mention how depressed they are, while those with depression often just say how they’re a little bit sad, but they’ll be fine. This often holds true for many mental illnesses, not just depression.
It’s often the ones without, that make more of a public spectacle, because if you suffer from a mental illness like depression, who would want to know about your problems, right?
I dig what you’re saying, but I don’t necessarily agree with that reading of the post I was commenting on for the following reasons:
- Why mention that the person is caucasian / heterosexual / cisgender in such a sarcastic sentence? If their problem was with the overuse of the word ‘depressed’ and not with privilege, why list these factors?
- The post didn’t allude to “I’m so depressed that my favourite TV show was cancelled” or “I’m so depressed because I didn’t get the new iPhone for Christmas” or any other such flippant uses of the word (which I agree with you are problematic)
- Specifying that this character is a young girl writing on a blog plays into so many dangerous stereotypes of ~attention-seeking youths~ that actually the person posting is the real problem here, not the character they’re trying to satirically describe (see this previous post, and followers’ responses with their accounts of ways in which they were silenced for being young and mentally ill)
Also, this was just one example taken at random of a myriad other posts I’ve seen floating about tumblr lately alluding to the same thing.
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