There would hardly be anyone with a slight interest in psychology who wouldn’t have internally cringed at people misusing the names of mental illnesses to describe things that were anything but mental illnesses. In case you need an example, the other day I was scrolling through my Instagram and came across the Instagram stories of this slightly famous blogger, where she said that the disarray in her feed was giving her an OCD. Having experienced closely a person who was actually affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and literally watching them cry unstoppably because they couldn’t stop washing their hands despite the cold winter, I rolled my eyes as hard as I could. This was just one of the many times I came across people trivializing mental illnesses like that. If had rolled my eyes every time someone trivialized a grave mental illness, I would have been blind by now.
After months of cringing inside, I realized that rolling eyes wasn’t enough. The reason people said and did ableist things and trivialized mental disorders was, to me, the lack of general awareness. People don’t necessary have to be evil villains of a young adult fiction. Sometimes, they need to be given the benefit of doubt and lack of awareness, especially in a world where education is a pricey privilege. So why not work towards a solution? I thought of a number of ways to try to solve it, and the easiest of them seemed to create educational content that was attractive enough to keep the audience’s attention while delivering the message. That’s how I came across the idea of creating very short, educational videos.
I began contacting a few companies hoping to partner up with them to create such videos online and just when I thought it wasn’t working, a representative from Renderforest replied with a request to make a Skype call. Fast forward to now, I’m launching a series of videos that will be sponsored by Renderforest, and made by me.
In these videos, I hope to cover some of the common mental illnesses and information on when and how to seek help. So far on my list are depression, anger issues, anxiety, post-traumatic disorders and other relevant topics. I tried to make them as engaging as possible by using stock footages and coupling them up with brief scripts. These videos are expected to be ready and up on YouTube and Instagram, starting from February.
I think that there is a dire need of creating more and more awareness on these topics to the general public. Today, there are so many individuals who are diagnosed patients of mental illnesses and there are countless others who don’t even know that their emotional struggles are real illnesses that occupy as much importance as their physical health. If we need to end this, we need to do something. Something other and more than rolling eyes.
Photo: Texas Public Radio