The Glamorization of Mental Illness Among Teenagers

1637 Words Feb 5th, 2014 7 Pages
Maren Dennison
Pd. 4
11/25/13
When visiting any well-known social network geared towards teens and adolescents, it takes but a few minutes to encounter a post that glorifies a disturbed mind. However, being mentally disturbed does not make a person beautiful. Many teens and adolescents believe that fabricating and self-diagnosing certain mental illnesses are a way to gain peer acceptance and to stand apart from the crowd. Although this belief may seem harmless, the glamorization of mental illnesses can create severe physical and emotional problems for teens. The most common mental issues that teens tend to glamorize are of self-mutilation, anxiety disorders, and depression. Self-mutilation includes an array of serious issues.
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Throughout the teenage years, normal levels of anxiety naturally increase due to all of the pressures of growing up and fitting in. Because of the constant worries and fears that teens experience, many start to self-diagnose General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD disrupts one’s daily life by greatly magnifying normal worries and fears, typically about the future (26). Some researchers suggest that GAD runs in family members (28). This theory considers not only genetics, but also environment. Some children learn anxious behavior from their elders (28). However, in some cases, the reason for the development of GAD cannot be determined. Typically, when a teen claims to have GAD without showing any typical symptoms of the illness, that the teen may have self-diagnosed. Self-diagnosis of GAD can create many emotional and medical problems in adolescents. Brian Kennedy explains, “Students in medical school are famous for convincing themselves that they have the disorders they are studying. The same might easily happen to people reading about anxiety disorders - especially, perhaps, with GAD. Because everyone suffers from anxiety at some point, it would be easy to self - diagnose GAD. But diagnosing an anxiety disorder is a tricky science and must be left to those qualified to treat mental disorders” (70).

Teens who claim to have GAD without a proper diagnosis must be taken to a professional immediately. In cases where a…

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