Social Media’s Negative Influence on Mental Disorder
By: Quincy Wise
Since the advent of social media people have used it show their display their activities and express their emotions. However, as social media progressed and the people became more aware of their personal health there has been an increase of Memes. Memes are mainly distributed in the form of a comedic image with text included. They can range from the cute to the disgustingly absurd so picking a single one to discuss is difficult. Why do these image display suicide in a comical fashion continue with such a negative conation? Because people can relate, they make us comrades in a war against societal normality. ( I have a problem with switching between formal and causual language)
This form of comradery is shown as being self-diagnosed as bipolar(BP), a mental illness that sends the inflicted into episodes of depression and mania. Mental illness affects the inflicted mood, thinking, behavior and sometimes are integral pieces of their personality. In spiteful of that, thousands of social media, users trivialize the severalty of bipolar disorder, making this condition almost a joke and lessens the impact it has in other peoples minds, therefore, creating a mist of confusion and insignificance around the entire concept. Those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder may go through 4 main episodes; Depressed (Characterized by suicidal idealization, increase sleeping regiment, loss of energy and interest), Manic (Characterized by hyper-sexuality, delusions, High energy, loss of self-control, loss of sleep, and euphoria), Hypomanic episodes are characterized same as manic episodes but with less severity, lastly Mixed are characterized by symptoms that are include in both depressed and manic episodes,
however in a mixed episode one it more susceptible to mood swings. If this Meme “culture” persists in the way that it does, millions will suffer due to them going under the radar.
Millions and if not billions of people can relate to enduring such a bad time that they wish for nothing more than death and looking back at those times in a better state of mind can be reassuring, maybe even funny hence the presence of “Memes“ (a form of media to relate to others).
Everyone goes through a depression from time to time. That form of temporary depression and the subsequent mood swings are normal and cannot be compared to the permeance of BP. This by itself is not the full extent of a BP episode. However due to Memes and the rapid spread that social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter allow many people seem to think it is. This is a sense take power ways from BP but it also takes power away from those inflicted with it. A person with BP knows that their episodes generally cannot be controlled but when another self-proclaimed BP tells them so-called “tips” that ultimately won’t work and might even trigger another episode is where I draw the line.
The problem comes when using a meme to portray their emotions then bestow themeless the title of “depressed”, “bipolar”, or “mental illness”. Now if your average Joe is having a bad day and not feeling himself but feels better tomorrow he might share a bipolar meme. Now in societies eye, it apparels that if Joe is bipolar and he seems to be handling it fine then it might not even be a big deal. In a sense diluting the actuality of BP trivializing the struggles of others.
“Memes” work in the way they are intended, to be able to quickly relate to others without the long, taxing process of text or email. They allow those around the world to quickly relate to a mass amount of people over a short amount of time. But just because they work doesn’t make them right. Joking on such dangerous and controversial topics such a mental health can make those inflicted with such conditions feel transparent as if what they go through doesn’t exist. Throughout history those with mental disorders were taken as jokes, just people acting out but as science advance and more people become mentally aware the cases of those self-diagnosing themselves will increase as well.
Another problem with “MEMEs” is that. They are slowly leaking their way from the internet into our everyday life as seen by this gift bag by Design Design, (.) Inc. Design Design apologized for this product and quickly removed it from the shelf but this only confirms the way mental disorders especially bipolar disorder is trivialized.
As someone that suffers from BP, I can attest to how hard it is to manage sometimes. Going from different moods, appearing like I turned into a different person, and a feeling of no control unless I’m in a stable state (which is rare). I couldn’t choose just one of these images to work on as recommended however it was extremely difficult to do so. I wish I could put them all in this paper to show the complex insanity of Meme culture.
“Mood swings and depressive episodes are normal, everyone has them. Even I get depressed sometimes and don’t to get out of bed”, States Dr.Sabish Balan, “but when you lose control, in a hurricane of emotion, always, constantly, then you need help”. Dr.Sabish Balan, my own psychologist, explained to me that social media’s influence on our lives contribute to how we think to see others and interact. This isn’t just an issue concerning bipolar disorder. It concerns all mental disorders, those typically unseen and ignored. Mental disorders shouldn’t be played with or taken as a joke, those feelings of sadness and anger can grow as time goes on leading to disastrous effects. In conclusion, all I have to say is “MEMEs” are a joke, mental illnesses are not.
(I spelled “Memes” multpile different ways instead of one unidfed way for the entrie paper.)
(Even though I liked the topic I wrote on, this paper is extermly watered down due to laziness. There are tons of gramatical erros due to switch tenses and tones. I thought the pictures would be a nice addition to the overall imagre of the paper the prodcut ccame out more conjusated.)
Balan, Sabish. “Social Media Affects on Bipolar Disorder.” 13 Oct. 2018.
“BEING CUTE IS MY JOB ANDITS BEEN ALONG DAY I’m Sure! | Cute Meme on Me.me.” Me.me, me.me/i/being-cute-is-my-job-andits-been-along-day-im-3475994.
“Bi-Polar Memes.” Pinterest, 7 Jan. 2016, www.pinterest.com/katkeeper74/bi-polar-memes/.
“WITH HER Suicide Watch Feminists Are on Suicide Watch | Meme on Me.me.” Me.me, me.me/i/with-her-suicide-watch-feminists-are-on-suicide-watch-3854531.