Nuts Is The New Cool

A study of 1,192 youths in the UK aged 12-17 was conducted by http://www.mentaline.com to find out about their opinions on mental health matters. Just over 1 in 10 young people, or 11%, in the UK think of “mental illness” as trendy according to this study. A press release in PRLog tells it all, 1 in 10 teens think mental illness is ‘fashionable’.

Regarding these youngsters who thought “mental illness” the thing:

34 % lied about having a “mental illness” in the past
32 % stated they knew somebody with a “real” mental health issue
49 % thought “mental illness” made you unique
16 % said celebrity sufferers gave “mental illness” it’s chic appeal
25 % just thought “mental illness” was cool
07 % thought they had a “mental illness”
61 % thought mental health should be taken very seriously

The 34% that admitted to pretending to have some kind of mental health problem in the past were asked to specify what the issue was. The top five problems were as follows:
1. Eating disorders – 22%
2. Self-harming – 17%
3. Addiction – 13%
4. Depression – 12%
5. Bipolar Disorder– 9%

And the winner is…Eating disorders by a length.

Given such statistics, I think maybe we need to reframe the way we look at emotional disturbances in order to lower rather than to raise the rates at which “mental disorders” develop.

Note: I’m not making an argument for excessive seriousness regarding either “mental illness” or mental health. Some people take their “mental illness” labels altogether too seriously. Some of those people are psychiatrists.