A Little History Behind People Using Mental Health Problems As An Excuse
So, a while back I wrote a post called Stop Using Mental Illness As An Excuse To Be Lazy and it addressed the issue of people faking mental health problems to get out of doing things or faking it in order to get special treatment and how this effects people who actually do have mental health problems and require special care. Recently, I saw something similar and thought I would do a follow up to the original post I did.
I rarely address YouTube drama here, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done so but recently I started following some “drama” that was just so problematic that I wanted to address it here. It was not only problematic but also something I have experienced personally as well and something that is a much larger issue than just some YouTube videos.
How It All Started
As you know my semester is over and I have some free time on my hands. I have been spending this free time writing, working on my blog, visiting more blogs and more. While I do all this I like to watch something on YouTube in the background and since I watch quite a few videos about mental health I guess my recommended decided to recommend me a video about Trisha Paytas faking having a mental illness. Now if you know Trisha Paytas you know she’s a troll, that’s how she got famous and that’s how she makes her money. She fakes pretty much everything and anything for attention so I was not surprised. Basically she made a video about how “she has Dissociative Identity Disorder” however nothing she describes as her “symptoms” are even actual symptoms of DID. It was so badly researched that I’m pretty sure she hadn’t even Googled what DID was let alone the symptoms. She also went on to call someone who actually has been diagnosed with DID “crazy”, out her ex as having DID and so much more. In the next video she attacks the girl she called “crazy” again and a bunch of other people who are part of the DID community on YouTube who called her out. As of when I wrote this she still hasn’t admitted to lying and continues to pretend to have DID. If you want more details on the situation check out these videos- I linked them as they explain the situation better and I didn’t want to link Trisha’s actual videos and give her more views:
Although I was not surprised by her behavior I was very pissed off for multiple reasons. I’m a history major so I really prefer putting my thoughts out in essay form but for the sake of this not turning into a rant post with no structure I will be addressing my feelings in point form.
- First of all I feel so sorry for the DID community on YouTube. I can not even imagine how difficult it must be to talk about something so personal in front of millions of people and I am sure that they receive a lot of hate and negativity from trolls as it is. Her behaviour just worsens the stigma that DID isn’t real and that people fake having it for attention. Her videos undo so much of the good other mental health advocates are doing and that is just pure evil.
- Calling people who were actually diagnosed as having DID “crazy” also does so much harm. People with mental health problems already face this kind of name calling and discrimination on a regular basis and this is exactly the kind of thing we are fighting against. I mean can you even imagine faking having a mental health problem for clout and then calling people who actually have that illness “crazy.”
- One of the biggest problems I had with this situation was the fact that she outed her ex for having DID without so much as giving them a heads up. Telling people you have a mental health disorder is scary enough as it is and being outed in front of millions of people must be terrifying. You should never out someone for having a mental health problem especially not online.
- I’ve talked about this multiple times but there is a lot of bias with how mental health problems are treated and how physical health problems are treated. Because mental illnesses may not always be visible people tend to either take advantage of them the way Trisha Paytas is doing or people tend to act like they are not real and just completely deny their existence. I think the fact that she is faking a mental problem and not a physical one is evidence of this bias. YouTube would have likely taken some sort of action against her videos/channel if she had faked having a serious physical illness. I know YouTube censors videos all the time and yet stuff like this stays up.
- This whole situation actually has a lot to do with the broader problems faced by the mental health community. Trisha is not the first person to call someone suffering from a mental illness “crazy” or out someone and unfortunately she won’t be the last. She is also not the first person to use mental health issues as an excuse for attention and money. These things tend to happen way more often then they should and it is very saddening. As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder and depression I see these things all the time and it makes me want to share my experiences and posts like this even more because clearly we have a long way to go before we can break away from the stigma.
I think the only thing we can do in this situation is to keep speaking up against stuff like this as well as share out actual mental health stories. That’s the only way to get rid of the stigma and stop people from taking advantage of something so real and difficult that so many people actually suffer from. I also hope that YouTube does a better job censoring/banning videos like these because they do actual damage to people and can really effect people with actual mental health problems.
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