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#IllnessNotAdjective

#IllnessNotAdjective Anyone who has been to a concert knows how upsetting it is to see it end.

Your favorite artist or band leaves the stage with the security in the back and you’re left waiting for them to come back. Maybe you and the rest of the crowd chant “encore” but to no avail. It’s time for you to go back to the real world.

With many artists such as The Weeknd and Halsey releasing upcoming tours, I know many teens can relate to that disheartening feeling. Recently, however, many teens have been tweeting after their concerts about PCD, or “post concert depression”. “I have PCD after the _______ concert” or “The video from last night is giving me depression” are few of the many tweets that teens have been writing daily.

Over a thousand results come up for this trending topic on twitter and it has become a common phrase used among teens. Here’s the deal – missing a favorite band after a concert should not constitute as depression. Depression is a mental illness. It is NOT a trend.

At least 20% of teens experience depression before they become adults, and the percentage is still increasing. It is also the cause for over two-thirds of suicides reported each year.

The definition of depression is the persistent feeling of sadness which can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, and overall health.

Keyword: persistent. Depression is longer than a 24-hour period following a concert. Depression is slowly losing interest in certain activities, hobbies, or even eating. It triggers that lingering sense of chronic hopelessness and sadness.

It is a constant feeling of fatigue, insomnia, and difficulties in concentration. In more serious cases, it is constantly having to be on antidepressants and meeting a therapist weekly. That empty feeling in your heart after such an exhilarating experience does not nearly amount to these symptoms and feelings. Apart from the term “depression” being constantly misused, there are unfortunately many other mental illnesses being used as commonplace adjectives. Phrases such as “the weather is bipolar today” or “I’m so anxious to see the new episode” get thrown around way too often and are extremely disrespectful.

The weather cannot experience emotion. Getting excited about a new episode is not the same as having anxiety. Wanting to clean a room is not the same as having OCD, someone skinny is not anorexic, and feeling sad after a concert is not depression. Psychological disorders are not self-diagnosable. They should not be a one-minute decision in order to make a tweet.

Diagnosing these illnesses involve a team of professionals who know how to identify and treat them. Using mental illnesses as adjectives belittles the struggles of the people who actually do suffer from such disorders. More people throwing around mental illnesses in unsuitable context takes away from the gravity of the issue. Unfortunately, many people using these adjectives are not being spiteful, but simply lack awareness about these disorders.

Mental illnesses have just recently been getting more attention in society, and it is crucial for it to be spread in an informative way. Let people with these illnesses be heard – do not silence them by using these terms inappropriately. It is not hard to use other adjectives that are not insensitive.

 Not sure what adjectives to use instead? Luckily, thesauruses and dictionaries are everywhere. Simply look up the feeling you are trying to express and there will be an endless list of choices for you to use instead. So remember: next time you come back from a concert, you are not feeling post concert depression- you are feeling nostalgic. I can assure you that in little to no time you will be over it and go back to your life. People with actual depression, unfortunately, may not even be able to do that. Think about that before you misuse a medical term.

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