It’s Cool To Have A Mental Illness
In this episode of Schizophrenia and the City, Michelle tackles the latest fad: that having a mental illness is cool. People are saying that recent social media posts about mental illness are glamorizing the subject. However, Michelle disagrees. Posts of people expressing their suicidal thoughts and intentions are not meant to make mental illness “cool,” but are a cry for help. Those people want people to notice that they are in pain, and help them. This is similar to Michelle’s clothing line, which is not meant to glamorize schizophrenia, but instead, initiate conversation around mental illnesses and destigmatize them. Another belief about the “coolness” of mental illness comes from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. People associated the series with 28.9% of suicide deaths of teenagers in 2017, and so started saying that the series “popularized” the subject of suicide. Michelle’s experience, however, differs from the series. Whenever she started getting suicidal thoughts, it was not premeditated or prolonged like in the show. Instead, it was instantaneous; spontaneous. In addition, suicide attempts are usually not successful on the first try, though in the series the girl was successful on her first attempt. 13 Reasons Why is not “1 Reason Why” mental illnesses are “cool.” Celebrities are also coming out with mental illnesses – which is a good thing because it initiates a conversation about mental illness in popular culture. However, people are not coming out with a mental illness because they want to imitate these
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Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist and spends her time passionately fighting stigma. At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health focused clothing brand. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.