As someone with medically-diagnosed depression and anxiety, there’s simply nothing more aggravating to me than when someone who isn’t a medical profession attempts to tell me how to manage my mental illness. And it happens so often – it’s as if my anxiety consistently invites unsolicited opinions from those who a) haven’t experienced mental illness themselves, b) don’t know me well enough, or c) have the belief that a myriad of mental illnesses can be ‘cured’ simply by walking or thinking positively.
More often than not, these ‘suggestions’ are condescending as fuck when delivered, and also completely overlook the severity of, and complexities involved with having, debilitating mental illness.
Well, today, YouTuber and newfound self-appointed mind guru Jake Paul attempted to single-handedly cure anxiety worldwide with a truly profound tweet encouraging anxious people to “chill your mind out”.
“Remember anxiety is created by you, sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy & that the answers will come,” the tweet reads. “Chill your mind out… go for a walk… talk to a friend.”
remember anxiety is created by you— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) February 17, 2020
sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy & that the answers will come
chill your mind out
go for a walk
talk to a friend
Telling an anxious person to ‘chill their mind out’ is exactly like telling a person with depression to ‘be less depressed’ – it’s completely unfounded, not conducive to positive change and, ultimately, insulting.
Here’s why a tweet like this a slightly (majorly) concerning:
Due to Jake’s obviously large platform, he’s exposing his young followers to the notion that simply ‘chilling out’ is the one answer to curing mental illness. From this, kids could feel ashamed if they can’t simply relax, despite trying so desperately hard to do so (or can’t stop feeling sad, despite trying so desperately hard to be happy).
Yes, things like going for a walk, exercising and communicating with family and friends are extremely important, but, in most cases, that’s not enough. In my own personal case, I go to the gym every day, have a healthy diet, am extremely proactive about prioritising my mental health, but even then, find myself struggling to get out of bed some days. Why? Because mental illness is a disorder, and can’t be eradicated with careless, sweeping comments about ‘walking’ and ‘chilling out’, particularly by a YouTuber with no knowledge about the individual circumstances or situations that contribute to his followers’ respective anxieties.
With this in mind, the tweet generalises all peoples’ experiences with anxiety, while also completely ignoring the root of anxiety, which is our body’s uncontrollable reaction to stress or danger.
I’ll just leave this tweet here.
Remember, anxiety is the body’s reaction to perceived danger, & our reaction to that. It’s hard to control & it’s okay if you find it extremely difficult to… chill.— Mykie (@GlamandGore) February 18, 2020
-watching less jake paul
Can all help. But everyone is different. https://t.co/W39EnBE4nQ
So, yeah, if you were looking for help, I’d suggest not listening to Jake Paul for advice.