Making Mental Illness Cool

Is it cool to say “I’m so bipolar!”?

Because I Said So

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I have noticed a tendency in our current culture to casually ascribe various forms of mental illness to ourselves and others.

“Sorry, it’s my ADD. What were you saying?”

“My OCD is out of control.”

“Whoa! Have you taken you your meds today?”

“She can be so bipolar sometimes!”

And I find myself wondering whether this phenomenon is a good thing or a bad thing.

On the one hand, it’s refreshing to hear people openly discussing mental illness – taking it out of the shadows, so to speak. With health insurance increasingly providing coverage for mental health, well-known public figures revealing their own struggles with mental illness, and a (slowly) growing acceptance that such afflictions as depression and bipolar disorder are diseases and not character flaws, we have made great strides in de-stigmatizing people who suffer from mental illness.

On the other hand, throwing around terms like “OCD” and “bipolar” flippantly…

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