Following the upload of Lauren Jarvis-Gibson’s article This Is Why People With Anxiety Are The Best People to Fall in Love With, many people have taken to social media to post backlash on the topic.
Users on Twitter were quick to say the article romanticized mental illness, believing the article deemed anxiety as “cute.”
With the rise of social media culture, the romanticization of mental illness has seemed to rise with it. Many even call it desirable, sometimes comparing it to a “fallen hero” image and calling it “beautiful suffering,” as if it’s a sort of art form; this, obviously, is not true, and mental illness is a serious problem that affects millions. In America alone, mental illness is the third most common reason of hospitalization, and over 42,000 individuals commit suicide per year, according to the CDC.
Many of those who disagreed with the article were quick to report their own experiences. One user replied saying that with anxiety, she wouldn’t even want to go out most of the time, let alone go on a date. Others said that their anxiety “burned bridges” rather than connecting them with others.
However, the article was not meant in any way to romanticize or make fun of mental illness; the real intention of the article seemed to be to accept people for their whole soul and not limit them to being only their disorder. As someone with mental illness, I too originally believed that the article wasn’t something to taken in a positive light. However, after reading more closely and listening to the opinions of others, as well as the writer herself, I found the article to be written with a soft spot for those with anxiety. The article was written from Lauren’s own experience with anxiety, as she later tweeted; she has also written several other articles relating to anxiety. As written by Twitter user @Gwethie, it was “clearly written with love and the intention of support amongst all the negative articles and comments you [those with anxiety] are battered with on the daily.”
From this situation, my wish is that people see both sides of every story, especially on such complicated issues. Everyone’s experiences are different. In a time where people rarely seem to agree and violence is so often used, we must listen to each other and stay kind.