What 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' Got Wrong About Anxiety
On an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” that aired back in November, 2016, Kim and Kendall opened up about their anxiety. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I made a point to watch the episode, looking for reassurance that I was not alone in this. What started out to be a promising moment for the Kardashians to convey the realities of anxiety slowly became a misrepresentation of the impact of this metal illness.
By the end of the episode, all of their problems were solved and tied into a perfect bow so they could carry on with their fabulous lives. Kim especially, appeared to be suddenly healed from her anxiety after one therapy session — despite the therapist encouraging her it was something she would have to continue to work at because it will likely affect her for the rest of her life.
Unfortunately for many of us with anxiety, it affects us every day and it’s often a battle to go about our daily lives. I’m not saying Kim and Kendall’s anxiety isn’t real, because when they talked about it I could truly relate to some of the symptoms they shared. However, wrapping up all of your problems by the end of an episode is just not realistic and I believe it misleads the public about how debilitating anxiety can be. I finished that episode feeling anxious and self-conscious, thinking I was clearly the only one out there who couldn’t get a grip on their anxiety.
I realize everyone’s journey is personal, and it is not my job to judge one person’s illness from another’s, but we should not make light of mental illness. I was offended that they simply brushed their anxiety under the rug and seemed to chalk it up to just having a “bad spell.” I was disheartened that the episode seemed to make a very real moment superficial and I was sad they missed an incredible opportunity to use the platform to clarify some of the stigmas about anxiety, instead only enhancing misconceptions.
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Photo via “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” Facebook page.