Glorification Adding to Stigma?

crazywriterIf you’ve ever been on any sort of social media site, specifically tumblr, you’ve probably seen some of the depressionspiration. Yes, depressionspiration. You’ve probably heard of thinspiration–more commonly known as thinspo or pro-ana–the glorifying of anorexia (by glorifying, I mean painting it as desirable, when eating disorders really aren’t). D-spo (I made up that term, by the way, and I’m going to abbreviate it like so) is doing the same thing for depression. I might even venture to say that it’s being treated as hip or trendy.

To be blunt, this pisses me the hell off. A lot. Depression isn’t glamorous. It isn’t some cute little clique where everyone wears blue shirts that say #TEAM DEPRESSION written on them. I don’t understand why society is trying to tell us that this mental illness is a cute, graceful, quirky thing. It’s actually not. And this is just my experience, but there’s really nothing glamorous about being sprawled out on the couch with greasy hair feeling like a miserable piece of feces.

This D-spo doesn’t help end stigma. In my opinion, it just increases it. In the eyes of others, why would we need recovery when our lives are these pretty black-and-white pictures? It minimizes the actual, legitimate problem of depression. I’m not necessarily saying that all those who reblog or post the D-spo are not depressed; they very well could be. I’m just saying that these posts are not helpful in any way whatsoever.

Not only is D-spo a smattering of glorifying posts, it is also a bucket of lies in that it makes those with depression (and any other mental illness, really) out to be freaky monsters. You’ve seen it–the ghastly girl chained to a dirty bed crying tears of poison–stuff like that. It’s harmful. These images are not only frightening and potentially triggering, they’re completely false. It’s not like you can walk into a crowd of people and point out the people who are depressed and those who aren’t. You’re never going to be able to know. The same goes for the portrayal of psychiatric hospitals in society. We don’t live in the 1880′s anymore. If you’re imagining a tiny little cage with a screaming child chained inside it, you’re wrong. If you’re imagining a room full of people whose eyes roll around in their heads and turn different colors, you’re wrong. Portraying such things like this isn’t helpful. It isn’t working to end stigma. It’s just adding to the lies society puts in our heads about depression.

One last thing–it’s a good idea to unfollow D-spo blogs, especially if you’re struggling with depression, self-injury, suicidal thoughts, or pretty much anything else. They’re really counterproductive. I personally have taken a recovery-centric approach to blogging. I’ve followed a ton of encouraging bloggers. It doesn’t always work, and I don’t always feel it, but it’s always good to surround yourself with positive people and images.

That’s about it for tonight. Goodnight lovelies!

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About Dauntlessly Cautious

I’m Abigail, a wildly emotional teenage blogger-empress. Sometimes I blog about my copious feelings. Sometimes–a lot, actually–I blog about my past. Sometimes it’s random and unexpected–romantic thoughts passing by, an odd dream I had, and so on. Oh yes, and I have a lot of opinions. Chances are you’ll disagree with at least one of them. I started blogging in April 2013, a little before my fourteenth birthday. Since then, I’ve published many posts–some groundbreaking and ingenious, some embarrassingly dismal. No matter their quality, however, they all play some sort of a part in my life story. If you’re in a stalking mood, read how my attitude changes from good to bad and back to better again. It’s all me. This is the mind of the odd, imaginative girl you see in the hallways, the cafeteria, and in classes. This is the heart of a human battlefield turned into a wonderful, scar-littered garden of hopes and dreams. Welcome to the two (or three, or four) sides of me–the daunting and the rash, the apprehensive and the careful.

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