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“Coming to a theater near you: My crippling depression, one girls story about being alone and eating all day.”
“Current relationship status: craving death.”
Most millennials now-a-days have some sort of anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.
The average high school student today has the same anxiety levels as a 1950s insane asylum patient.
The Concept of Lost Meaning
Not only is my generation known for having some of the highest amounts of mental health diagnosis in history, but we are also known for the idea of minimizing meaning.
For example, the word “love” has lost a significant amount of meaning ever since the 2000s. “Love” is thrown into every other sentence now. “Love this” or “Love that.”
We LOVE everything in this generation. When 20 or 30 years ago, “love” was only a word you had for your parents, siblings, or significant other.
Words like “hate,” “promise,” and “forever” have all lost significant meaning as time moves forward.
As a culture we minimize feelings.
If we minimize such strong feelings as love and hate, why would we not downsize thoughts such as suicide?
Downsizing the intensity, normalizes the feelings.
Further meaning, if someone makes a joke about suicide, it brings the feeling in the open. If the feeling is spoken about in a joke or humorous way, it normalizes the conversation.
Not only will it normalize the conversation, it will also give less power to the feeling.
Giving the power over to humor takes away from the power of fear or anger.
Now, although joking or using humor about suicide, depression or anxiety is my personal coping mechanism.
It is not everyone’s.
You never know what someone is going through, or has been through. Knowing a joke is knowing the person you are speaking too as well.
Joking about my past with suicide, depression and anxiety has helped in many ways.
I have heavy past with mental health disorders. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder at age 13. I have since had many issues with suicidal thoughts. I have also had many struggles with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
I have always been a humorous person, I have always made jokes to shed light upon dark situations. Why would my mental health be an untouched area?
Through out my diagnosis process I would make jokes about my current situation to down play any problems I knew I was having.
If I was having a panic attack, I would make a joke about how I knew I applied mascara for a reason, the reason being I wanted the dramatic black tears.
The laughter at my own stupidity would help calm me.
Lastly, let’s get real about meme culture.
Okay, I know you probably didn’t think this topic would come into play in the conversation, but let’s get real. It’s 2019 and memes are everywhere.
Also, a solid majority of them include some sort of mental health implication.
Meme culture has become a foreground for some important conversations such as mental health. With all the jokes going around about people who are going though some tough things, conversations about proper diagnosis, personal care, and how to help others have also been going around.
Some of the most important conversations regarding mental health have happened in the past 10 to 15 years or so.
Could this be partly from the viral photos going around online that open up a conversation, maybe? Not all of it, that is for sure, but some of it yes.
Social media sites such as Tumblr, Twitter or Reddit have been inclusive conversation starters for mental health—this mostly being due to people sharing these self deprecating viral sensations.
Even people without any sort of anxiety, depression, or anything thing else have learned new things from others.
Not only are we sharing important information about mental health, we are all laughing together.
People can come together, no matter what they look like, or what their views are and they can all laugh at the fact that they eat brownies and cry at 2:34 AM.
Laughing at our past misfortunes can conclude to happier futures.
It is better to live and laugh it off than to hold anger and resentment.
Grudges about what has happened will never solve the problem.
Humor, light hearted one liners, and loud cackling can lighten the day for anyone.
Sure, it can’t change the past. Of course, it can’t reverse trauma. But, it is very possible it could make you laugh.
And laughter of course, as it has been said for decades, is the best medicine.