The idea that everyone has a perfect, happy life is so 2018. In 2019, everyone is about being sad – at least online. For some reason, emotional distress has become a trend. Teens are glorifying depression, or at least their version of it, by calling it “beautiful suffering.”
The Sad Online Era
The Sad Online era can be attributed to JOMO (the joy of missing out). With social media campaigns encouraging youngsters and adults alike to speak about their mental health, it seems to be having a not-so-positive effect.
People are labeling their sadness as depression, and their nervousness as anxiety, ignoring the real symptoms or not having a proper diagnosis. If healthy people think that they’re depressed, they’ll eventually feel identified with the glamorized version of depression social media portrays.
Unfortunately, more teenagers believe depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are “cool” or make you “special.” All thanks to social media.
The Real Numbers
Don’t get me wrong; talking about depression and other mental health struggles more openly is fantastic. The problem lies when people try to sell these illnesses as if they’re something amazing that you should be proud of experiencing.
But, regardless of the social media portrait of depression, the numbers are indeed rising.
A recent Pew Research study concluded that 7 in 10 teens believe depression and anxiety are the biggest problems their peers face. The medical journal AMA analyzed the CDC’s data and found that suicide rates are dramatically increasing among young Americans. And that 1 in 5 Americans will probably experience mental illness in a given year. To top it off, the American Psychiatric Association also reported an increase in anxiety and depression among boomers.
Is Depression a Trend?
With t-shirts that say, “Anxiety Queen,” and necklaces reading “Anxiety,” has mental illness become a trend? Is it possible that the “Sad Online” or the “Sad Girl Culture” ironically led to the commodification of sadness? Let us know what you think in the GR8 poll below.