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'Riverdale' Actress Lili Reinhart Proves Why You Shouldn't Minimize Someone's Mental Health Struggles

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Mental illness is constantly minimized by those who don’t understand it. For some of us, people take one look at us or our lives and decide we have no reason to be depressed, anxious or insecure about our bodies. We’re told we should be grateful and happy, and if we aren’t, we’re self-centered. The more our struggles are minimized, the less we’re willing to get help.

On Monday, Harper’s Bazaar ran a piece about “Riverdale” actress Lili Reinhart. Reinhart told the magazine Marilyn Monroe helped her feel like her body could be accepted in society. Reinhart was criticized by many on Twitter who said her body type is acceptable and that she was being “whiny.”

Reinhart shot back at the critics, tweeting that insecurities exist no matter your size. She also said she has body dysmorphia, and people shaming her for talking about her insecurities is an example of why mental illnesses get worse.

According to the International OCD Foundation, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. BDD is characterized by excessive concern about one or more perceived physical flaws. Someone with BDD will also perform repetitive behaviors such as checking themselves in the mirror and skin picking. It affects about 1 in 50 people, many of whom do not seek treatment for it.

Reinhart’s body being what people deem “ideal” does not eliminate her insecurities, just like someone saying you have no reason to be depressed or anxious doesn’t eliminate your depression or anxiety. Instead of shaming people for feeling a certain way, let’s make it so that they feel comfortable seeking help.

Image via Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

Originally published: July 5, 2018
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