I just want to put it out there that I really don’t like hate the way in which mental heath issues are ignorantly trivialised by many people. You hear people say “oh my god I am soooo depressed!” about their favourite restaurant being booked out, or people getting told, “you are sooo OCD!” because they value cleanliness more than the average person — the list goes on. It really irritates me. It makes me feel like mine, and other people’s mental health issues are undermined as merely a description of a fleeting problem, a hyperbolical description. Surely I’m not the only person out there who feels like their personal struggles are trivialised by these terms being casually misappropriated in popular culture and everyday use?
A few months ago, law school had a “Mental Health Awareness Day” which involved (via sponsorship, of course) a bouncy castle, warm fuzzy post-it notes, puppies for petting, etc. Needless to say, I was really unimpressed. Whilst it coincided with the release of a survey of law students (which unsurprisingly concluded that we are one of the most stressed faculties, and that many people develop mental health issues, or their previous difficulties worsened), none of this was the focal point. It really should have been called a “Stress Relief Day” or something a bit more mild. I realise that stress in itself is a serious problem, and it also exacerbates other mental health conditions, but the whole thing looked like a magical, colourful fun-day joke and I felt like it rudely trivialised the seriousness of other things caught under the umbrella term of “mental health.”
In happier matters, I recently did a photo shoot for some friends’ presskit: