Awareness Education



While the stigma around Mental Health and Mental Illness is being tackled pretty effectively by opening doors to the previously tabooed topic, a misrepresenting image of Mental Health and Illness is seen to be rising in pop culture. As obvious as it seems, teenagers are the most vulnerable group to fall prey to this misconception which will have serious repercussions. Specifically, we are looking at the glamourization or romanticization of mental illness.

The sad diva, a handsome angry man, the ruined rock star, a hopeless romantic, an insecure passionate lover, a beautiful criminal, a suicidal artist.

Growing trends in teens as represented by their social media accounts paint a picture of a mental illness like depression as something beautiful and artistic rather than the fact of it, that is ugly. Trends in music and sitcoms that are most popular among teens show a significant rise in topics related to mental illness, which becomes a problem because of the way it depicts anxiety, depression, self-harm, etc. Sitcoms like 13 reasons, why which portray a very wrong idea about suicidal behavior by showing the protagonist’s suicide as successful revenge over her peers who bullied her. There is also a rise in the ‘Lolita’ aesthetic which has been made popular by artists in music, that is in fact a story of trauma and abuse by an American novelist Vladimir Nabokov titled ‘Lolita’.

 All of this can lead to teenagers having the wrong idea of what mental illnesses are and how to deal with them. Sensitive minds can be severely damaged in this kind of atmosphere. A situation like this might also create a sense of dilemma between teens who are in fact mentally ill and those who behave so because it’s perceived as ideal by their peers or they themselves think it is ideal because of its beautified portrayal in media. Because teenagers’ brain is not fully developed and lack in judgment and decision making, combining it with the heightened risk taking behavior that is typically observed in adolescent boys, becomes a concerning issue.

Proper education and awareness in this matter is crucial and is central to the progress of mental health as a whole in society because adolescents are an important part of society in order to keep it functioning and to carry on thriving as a unit for generations after generations. To protect their mental health is as important as their physical health.

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