Stop Joking About Mental Health

As someone who’s diagnosed with ADHD, it can be frustrating to hear phrases like

“I feel so ADHD today” or “I’m going to need some Adderall to pass my finals this semester” from people who don’t actually deal with having ADHD.

It’s something that has become normalized, especially in college culture, and I’m honestly not here for it. These people don’t have to deal with the medications, the inability to sit still, and the constant thoughts running through my mind at a mile a minute.

I don’t enjoy having mental health issues, despite learning to cope with it as a part of my lifestyle and it’s certainly not someone I think is funny.

It doesn’t just stop at my mental health either, I personally know people who are diagnosed bipolar, have anxiety, depression, etc. I’m sure they don’t appreciate people labeling themselves or others as bi-polar for being in a bad mood all of a sudden, or having the word depression printed as a slogan on a T-shirt.

I found a few tweets that summed up other’s thoughts on the subject:





















If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you may have seen my series on problematic fashion. If not you can read it here: Link to Article

A couple of the shirts I talked about had to do with “romanticizing” mental health. This is something that is not only problematic but disrespectful to people who actually deal with mental health issues. We didn’t ask to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, etc. It’s not something that makes us “trendy” or “relatable”. Instead of claiming issues that you don’t actually have to deal with, why don’t we support those who actually have to deal with them?

Listen to your friends who deal with mental health issues and be a support system. You never know what someone is going through, and I think it would do our community good to be present and educated towards people who struggle with mental health issues. These people will not always make their disabilities, illnesses known but that doesn’t exclude joking behavior. It can be extremely difficult for those who struggle with mental health issues to talk about it in public, and most of the time these individuals don’t express this aspect of their lives in fear of not being taken seriously.

So before you make a comment about having “anxiety” or being so “bi-polar” today- think about those individuals who actually deal with those illnesses and make rethink your words. Let’s work on being supportive of those of us(even if they aren’t friends or family) who can’t control these aspects of our lives, and focus on making a more inclusive and supportive community for mental health thrive and not be the butt of someone’s joke.

2 thoughts on “Stop Joking About Mental Health

  1. THIS 👏🏾 POST 👏🏾 IS 👏🏾 EVERYTHING 👏🏾 I can’t tell you how many times people have been so problematic when folks *without* that ilness claim it, as if it’s a joke. It’s not fun it’s messy. It’s hard. It’s complicated and makes life a bit more complicated. And thank you so much for this I LOVED it! Snaps to you 💖


  2. This post is so incredibly relevant. There was actually an article in The Breeze about this exact topic! I hear people every day saying, “I’m going to kill myself” in a joking manner, and it’s absolutely unacceptable. Especially when it’s heard by someone who has depression and has had suicidal thoughts in the past, it makes me feel invalidated and uncomfortable with my illness. Very important to be mindful with the language you use, even if others make it seem like a norm.


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