Ratings of Different Mental Illnesses Based on Social Acceptability

As a sufferer of anxiety and depression, I’ve noticed that some forms of mental illness are more socially accepted than others. For example, I feel a lot more comfortable telling people I am experiencing anxiety than depression, because there’s a bigger stigma against depression.  I came up with a list of mental illnesses*, rated them on their social acceptability (in terms of how acceptable it is to talk to others about), and added some *satirical* comments on how they are viewed in our culture:

Generalized anxiety disorder: Relax. It’s gonna be okay. Just don’t worry about it. Social acceptability rating: A-

Panic disorder: Oh yeah, I totally had a panic attack ONCE. It sucked! I thought I was gonna die. Social acceptability rating: A- 

Depression: You are a lazy piece of crap. Can’t you just suck it up? Happiness is a choice. Social acceptability rating: D+

Bipolar disorder: It’s not your fault, you can’t help being bipolar. Maybe you’ll be super artistic like Vincent Van Gogh. Just make sure to take your meds. Social acceptability rating: B-

Schizophrenia: You’re crazy and I feel sorry for you. Please take your meds or else please avoid me so I don’t have to be reminded of the suffering in the world, because I’m scared that if I talk about mental health issues I’ll catch one from you. Social acceptability rating: F

Eating Disorder: Can’t you just like, eat a hamburger? You’re not fat. You do look, like, super good though… Wanna teach me your ways? Social acceptability rating: C-

Substance Abuse & Addiction: You’re a loser. Get a job. Why can’t you just quit? It’s your fault for trying drugs in the first place. Social acceptability rating: F-

PTSD: Isn’t that something that like, war veterans have? You weren’t in a war though… And didn’t that happen to you like, 3 years ago? It’s time to move on. Social acceptability rating: C

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Oh, I’m like, super OCD about things too. Social acceptability rating: A-

Dissociative disorders: What is that? Sounds scary. Social acceptability rating: Unknown

 

*Note: This isn’t a fully inclusive list of all mental illnesses.

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