With the rise of the importance of mental health, it seems that more and more people are taking note of their own quirks and diagnosing themselves with anxiety, OCD, depression, or ADHD – some of the more common disorders that we see nowadays.
Years ago, anyone with a mental disorder would hide it, for fear of being judged and misunderstood. Today, the walls have been pulled down, and people are no longer afraid of showing their mental disorders. Being able to seek help for their problems and finally being able to talk about them may be the reason why there seems to be a sudden influx of mental disorder cases. The cases haven’t gone up, but people have just started seeking treatment. However, WHO (World Health Organization) reports that despite the increase in treatments and access to mental health services, there haven’t been any improvements in the nation, statistically speaking, and the numbers just aren’t going down.
There’s a popular saying that is often reposted on social media that goes, “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.” It’s hard to debunk or prove whether this is true, but according to current trends, it does seem to be the case.
Furthermore, social media does seem to have a hand in these trends. Take for example, Tourette’s Syndrome. There has been a huge increase in girls developing what seems to be Tourette’s Syndrome in the past year due to watching influencers on TikTok exhibiting their tics.
As girls don’t normally develop Tourette’s, this led doctors to puzzle over the world’s latest digital pandemic. Thankfully, they were able to trace it to the source. The girls weren’t developing Tourette’s Syndrome, but rather, they were imitating it unconsciously. Some girls completely stopped exhibiting their tics after being told that their body was mimicking the actions and tics of those TikTokers.
It seems like it’s easier to score a mental illness nowadays than hitting the jackpot through slots, but is there a reason for it? We’ll explore this phenomenon below.
Perhaps the same could be said about other mental disorders. A friend says that she has anxiety because she freezes up whenever she’s asked to make a decision, or finds it hard to say certain things to certain people, and when people start relating to those kinds of proclamations, it can be one easy leap to believing that they may also be sufferers of anxiety. After all, it is much easier to believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with you that keeps you from achieving your true potential, rather than realizing that you’re perfectly capable and the reason that you haven’t achieved anything is because you are perfectly ordinary.
However, as New York psychiatrist Rob Debrenski puts it, “I’ve always preached that everyone is crazy, it’s just a matter of degree, duration, and timing.” If we see the world as a spectrum instead of black and white, it just makes sense. Everyone’s a little crazy, but instead of letting it define us or cripple us, we can soldier through it like how our ancestors did. But the good thing about our modern times is that we can seek help if we really need it.