Mental Illness: The New Black When Illness Becomes Fashionable
A few years ago, there was a lot of talk in the media about the over diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and then, it was the over diagnosis of the autism spectrum. Now, in a Kafkaesque switch seems that there are many who are self-diagnosis serious mental and physical disorders to explain their own personality traits, or maybe to even fit in a bit more with their peers.
The trend isn’t limited to high school either, in Hollywood there is a sudden wave of celebrities who find themselves suddenly suffering from whatever the disease du jour happens to be, whatever it may be at any given time. It’s a strange twist especially when only a few short years ago we were in a panic over the over medication of kids and the effects that the misdiagnosis may have on their future wellbeing.
However, in recent years it has become trendy to have a certain disorder of the moment, from Asperger’s to Manic Depression. While many may eventually let go of the self-diagnosis, it’s a worrying trend for those who legitimately suffer from the issues. If one looks at the events of the Charlie Sheen media storm, one can easily find other celebrities who ‘came out’ as Bi-Polar, which has created more self-diagnosed people.
Many of those true suffers find themselves being treated as if they are ‘faking’ it and become worried about seeking help, even though they had been legitimately diagnosed. Finding help and taking necessary steps to make sure their own health may become problematic due to the concern of not being taken seriously by their doctors or other people who are their safety net.
Mental and physical disease can wreak havoc on the lives of those effected by it. It can take a toll on relationships, well-being, and overall life quality. By making it a fashion statement it is mocking the suffering that those true sufferers experience.
To put it simply, disease isn’t a trend. Perpetuating is as one is doing far more damage to those who are legitimately suffering.