Mental Breakdown Check


@twistedsunflower on tik tok

Havana Garrett, Reporter

An overlying theme that I have found when going through Tik Tok is the number of “mental breakdown check” videos in which people show themselves cutting/dyeing their hair while listening to ‘Truth Hurts’ by Lizzo. 

Healthline, a news resource, characterizes a mental breakdown as “a term used to describe a period of intense mental distress. During this period, you’re unable to function in your everyday life.”

I don’t think this needs to be said, but dyeing your hair dark pink while vibing to ‘Truth Hurts’ by Lizzo and dancing in your bathroom at 7:30 on a school night, does not mean that you have a debilitating mental illness. Painting mental illness as something as simplistic as cutting your own bangs only makes it more difficult for people who are actually suffering to be taken seriously. 

More people than ever will say “I have Depression” or “I have anxiety” when what they mean to say is “I feel anxious” or “I’ve been feeling kind of down.” Yes, the rates of anxiety have risen, but in actuality only 9.1% percent of teens have Social Anxiety and only 2.2% of teens have General Anxiety Disorder. These statistics are still high, meaning about 1 out of 10 teens suffer from some type of anxiety.  The blatant glorification of mental illness in everyday life is astonishing. Depression is not what it is made out to be. Depression is not beautiful or dramatic or stunningly tragic, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, where your body does not produce as much Serotonin as it should. Depression is not equivalent to sadness, it is possible to feel sad for an extended period of time without having Depression. It is also totally possible to be stressed out for an extended period of time without that meaning you have an anxiety disorder. 

The truth is, most people will not experience what Clinical Depression and anxiety feel like, and they should be thankful for that. Treating Depression as if it’s a personality trait does not make you cool or quirky, and comparing dyeing your hair a funky shade of purple to being in a dire psychiatric state is nothing short of insensitive. 

Instead of throwing around words that you might not fully understand the impact of, do some research into what you’re talking about. If after researching you still want to call throwing up peace signs while a friend cuts your hair a “mental breakdown,” then that’s your decision, but know that there are people who are actually suffering whose validity is being tainted by the misunderstanding of mental illness.