#IGetDepressedWhen Hashtag Prompts Mental Health Advocates to Explain Depression


On Thursday it seemed, for a brief period of time, as though the internet forgot what it means to have depression. The hashtag #IGetDepressedWhen began trending on Twitter, confusing depression – a mental illness – as another word for sadness.

The hashtag took off with people listing trivial things that make them sad, as well as users trolling the hashtag with jokes about the Clinton campaign, Harambe and McDonald’s. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for mental health-savvy Twitter users to explain what depression is and isn’t.

“#IGetDepressedWhen depression is not a mood. I find this hashtag highly offensive for all those like me who have this mental illness,” one Twitter user wrote.

“#IGetDepressedWhen my brain literally does not produce serotonin & I have a mental disorder that literally causes me to want to kill myself,” another user explained.

“#IGetDepressedWhen i have depression, which is always, because depression is a mental illness that isn’t situational,” wrote another.

One in five Americans live with a mental health condition. Those living with depression have a mental illness, which is not an emotion they can turn on and off. Like any other medical condition, depression is something that requires treatment.

“#IGetDepressedWhen i forget to take my medication and i’m unable to leave my bed for days since depression is an actual illness not a mood,” Twitter user @savethebumbles shared.

 

Not only are hashtags like this potentially offensive to people who live with depression, they promote misunderstanding and add to the stigma that people living with mental illnesses already face.

“#IGetDepressedWhen my mental illness is used as a trendy # while my MI is ignored & judged by those who don’t suffer from it, but use this #,” Mich Foreman wrote.

In summary: “This hashtag #IGetDepressedWhen should be changed to #IGetSadWhen cause depression isn’t a mood it’s a mental illness ????.”

Next time you want to create a hashtag making light of mental illness, think again.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Hand drawn illustration of figure standing in rainy weather

On the Days You Don't Feel OK

You’ve become so accustom to saying you’re OK that sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re not. But not every day is an OK day. You and I know there are days that are really not OK at all. But the people around you wouldn’t really know it, now would they? Chances are, you’ve gone to great lengths to [...]
woman looking at the ocean with her hands out

My Brain Is Sick, but That's OK

The only constant in my life has been these demons in my mind. This sickness has always been there when no one else was around. When everyone has gone and left me alone, it is there. It wraps my mind in its arms and tells me it will always be there, forever, when everyone else is dead and [...]
University of Chicago's campus

What the University of Chicago Should Know Before It Belittles Trigger Warnings

A letter sent by the University of Chicago to the Freshman Class of 2020 has caused controversy over stating that the school “[does] not support so-called ‘trigger warnings’ or ‘intellectual safe spaces’” because of their “commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression.” So, what are trigger warnings and safe spaces and why are they so important? Trigger warnings are [...]
Vector graphic sketch of romantic happy young couple in love sitting on bench.

When People Ask What It'd Be Like to Date a Person With a Mental Illness

To date me is to be with me, not just me when my mental illness is under control. To date me is to love me for who I am. To date me is to be willing to be there for me, through thick and thin, and to know I’ll be there for you. I’ve been asked several [...]