MINNEAPOLIS, MN — According to a new poll by Pew, 76% of teens in the US would definitely kill themselves in a, “joking kinda way.” The poll comes as many teens in America have been finding reprieve in knowing that depression and suicide are no longer taken seriously. APR’s Chief Suicide Correspondent, Albert Gordon, tells us that most teens are happy that overblown issues of depression and suicide are okay to talk about lightly to describe mild inconveniences, as opposed to reserving such statements to those suffering from those fake ailments.
“Vanity depression,” speaking as though one has depression while also understanding that such an illness has yet to be proven, has been on the rise especially with teens who like sympathy. Our Chief Anxiety Correspondent, May Spencer, is concerned however that this recent trend is delegitimatizing mental health causes.
“In the mental health community we’re all faking it for attention, and the better fakers get more attention. But when everyone is throwing around pleas for death in such a joking manner, it strips away the legitimacy of those of us who are legitimately faking a mental disease.”
In the past few years, vanity depression has eaten away at the divide between the fakers and the liars. Office Intern Anthony Ellis helped offer some insight into the world of vanity depression and why it’s as big as it is. Anthony, a local 13 year old, told us that vanity depression is “fun.”
“Everyone knows I won’t kill myself but it makes my feelings easier to understand,” he said. “Because everyone jokes about it all the time, only the good fakers make it, and those really good fakers are the funnest to laugh at and we wanna see more of them.” He went on to describe the fact that he and his friends have a hard time understanding each other’s feelings, so light hyperbole is needed to make sure the message comes across.
Vanity depression is also used as a means to become more liked. Anthony told us early this morning through an Xbox Live message that when “people say edgy things like that, they’re a lot cooler.”
He added that he knows his friends don’t care about mental illness, but it all sounds edgy so they like using the terms. When we asked the young man on what he thought specifically about depression and suicide, and how he thinks people feel when those terms are used in such a liberal manner, he called our reporter “gay” and signed out of Xbox Live.
The Pew Poll shows Spencer just how outgoing people who misappropriate culture have become. To her, people like Anthony are stealing part of her identity and making it their own, with their own twists that don’t conform to reality.
“How would you feel if, as a righty, I just started using left-handed scissors but I flipped them upside down when I did it so my right hand would fit properly?” Spencer said while providing a visual demonstration. “You see? Not as fun when I do it.”
For people with mental illness, it’s usually their one identifiable characteristic as a person, and usurping such an intrinsic part of one’s identity is as bad as it gets when it comes to cultural appropriation.
The left, who is usually fine tuned to be outwardly angry online and in the street —when they can be bothered— seems to be playing the largest role in all of this. Alt-left websites like Tumblr, a hotbed for neo-fascist propaganda, are constantly flooded with messages about people claiming to want to kill themselves. To some, the hypocrisy displayed really hurts.
Spencer and so many other liars are looking for a world where they can go about their day pretending that they have “real” issues without their heritage being stolen away from them. Pew has reminded America that it has a lot of work to do in making society a fairer and better place for all.