Glorification adding to stigma?

If 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! 


2 thoughts on “Glorification adding to stigma?

  1. Fabulous post, I completely agree- I recently stumbled across a pro-cutting website and it was a bit of a shock to the system. When you’re really depressed you don’t realise how much these things are hurting you.
    I HATE that sanitised/romantic images of depression etc seem to have become fashionable- it seems that we’ve gone from one bad image to another… *sigh* it’s just so frustrating!

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