How the Internet Is Creating More Stigma Around Addiction and Mental Illness


Image by Pixelkult from Pixabay

Chloe Ellis, Staff Writer

*Content Warning: Some strong themes/ talk of addiction* 

 Social media is a big part of most preteens’ and teenagers’ lives. While it’s fun, you learn new things, and meet new people, social media also comes with some very serious problems.  

   A trend on social media that I have noticed for a while is that there are a lot of people talking about mental illness, as well as addiction. I think we 100% need to talk about those things but we need to talk about them correctly. There is so much false information spread on the internet that is being shown to young audiences and that is really harmful.

    Going on Tik Tok every day I see videos about addiction. Some of the content consists of people talking about how they miss when they were doing drugs every day and how fun it was. Also people are talking about mania and they are spreading false information about having bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Most of the disorders that people talk about are very complex and it’s hard to be sure that you have something if you’re just finding your information online.  

   I think people saying they love doing highly addictive drugs and exhibiting risky behavior are just making other people want to do those things too. I mean what else would you think when you hear about other teenagers partying and doing drugs saying how fun it is? It could make you also want to try them because you want to have fun. 

   No one should wish to have depression, anxiety, an addiction, personality disorder, or things similar. 

  If someone has these things it doesn’t mean they “aren’t trying hard enough”, or that they’re lazy, or that they are bad people. They are valid and they are human. 

   People have these things and struggle with them every single day. We need to break the stigma around these disorders and not make more. 

 I think there needs to be better information spread about all the things I’ve talked about. Instead of it being a joking matter, we address the things people are facing and if they want it we help them with what they’re going through no matter what.