Memes and other mental health jokes worrisome

Amara Del Prato, Entertainment Editor

In the longstanding fight against the stigmatization of mental health, it seems that finally Generation Z has thrown the last punch.  Students talk openly about mental health, posting about their sessions with their therapists and making lighthearted memes about mental health struggles. However, some students worry that this kind of environment allows the younger generation to incorrectly diagnose themselves and invalidate those who do grapple with mental illness.  

“It has become such a fad in our generation, when really [mental health jokes are] very negatively connotated and promote self loathing as well as normalize hatred towards oneself — something that should never be treated like it is nothing,” senior Beatrice Soledad said. 

Social media plays an important role in the modern mental health discussion; the sharing of “depression memes” has integrated itself into teen culture, and older generations worry about this cultural shift. 

“Memes and their themes have a wider launch and blast radius range than the most powerful nuclear missiles […] which means they can easily spread and perpetuate harmful messages surrounding mental health issues,” Otis Roffman said in an article on Studybreak.com. 

Other students say that joking about depression online can be a coping mechanism used to desensitize themselves to their own inner turmoil. 

“I feel like social media has really given people an outlet to talk about their mental health and express it in a way that’s healthy and really accepted….” junior Ariel Good said.  “If you can be anonymous and talk about mental health it really helps.”  

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