5 instagram accounts using memes to discuss mental health
They'll make you say “Sames.”
Instagram is the most detrimental social media app for your mental health, a recent UK public health study found. Another study suggests teens are more likely to experience psychological distress if they spend over two hours a day on social media. But a growing number of Instagram users are abandoning sunny filters and instead sharing honest, witty memes about their day-to-day struggles with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Transforming cartoons, screencaptures, and stock photos into comedic gold, popular accounts like @tmifw and @binchcity are using dark humor to break through the taboo of discussing mental illness — which is vital. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association, 18 percent of Americans experience an anxiety disorder each year — yet only 36.9% of those suffering seek help. Memes can help: highlighting the under-discussed symptoms of mental diseases and disorders and normalizing conversations about them. As online communities like Black Twitter and LGBTQ YouTube have illustrated, sometimes, social media can be a crucial, even life-saving, tool for broadcasting that we're all just as complicated as each other.
Here are five Instagram accounts creating meaningful and relatable conversations about mental health.
@FilthyRatBag makes relatable memes about self-doubt
Melbourne-based artist Celeste Mountjoy fearlessly tackles her insecurities as a woman and artist through personal, straightforward cartoons. Her inspiring honesty is a big reason why she has racked up over 200K followers on Instagram. In one beautifully messy drawing, a nude woman in the kitchen says, "I'm not actually hungry I'm just empty inside." If only we all were so self-aware.
@TheScariestBugEver tackles everyday struggles
Binny Debbie's account proves that nothing is un-meme-able. With a slurry of "starter packs" memes, astrology jokes, and bingo boards, Binny captures the anxiety of being young in 2017. What results is often wonderfully pithy memes perfect for our cynical generation. One meme imagines anxiety and insecurity as exes who keep sending "I miss you" iMessages. Another picture takes the classic "Surprise, bitch" meme and turns it into a dark, tongue-in-cheek joke. "I bet you never thought I'd recover from my debilitating mental illness," the meme reads. Binny has also been honest about her own struggles, sharing her path towards regaining mental wellness with her followers.
@BinchCity creates a personal diary of her path to recovery using memes
The owner of @BinchCity does not just hide behind memes. The account owner frequently posts selfies and pairs them with candid captions about how running @binchcity has helped manage her "depression™" and create online friendships. "I honestly think joking about my mental illness has given me more insight into it," she shared in a post to her 30K followers. "But take care of yourself. If you're able to see a therapist, do so. Start prioritizing your mental health. Mental illness isn't a death sentence, it's just an annoying binch that lives inside your head that you can learn to make peace with."
@angstyfairy uses childhood images to make light of young adulthood
Self-loathing and tears meet Y2K nostalgia. @angstyfairy re-appropriates imagery from millennials' and Gen-Zers' childhoods — including Polly Pocket, As Told By Ginger, and Barbie — to deliver apathetic, deadpan jokes about the pressures of young adulthood. Who knew a still of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody actress Brenda Song could perfectly capture the emotional detachment of an entire generation? "When someone actually opens up to you but you're at a loss for how to respond cuz you're so deep in the fear of vulnerability… " the meme reads, using a picture of the Disney Channel star looking overwhelmed. The meme automatically elicits an "It me."
@bestofgrindr perfectly captures the highs and lows of being a queer male
Members of the LGBTQ community are three times more likely to experience a mental health condition like clinical depression or generalized anxiety than their straight counterparts, the National Association of Mental Health reports. Often, queer films, like Moonlight and Brokeback Mountain, portray this increased sensitivity through a sober lens. So the rambunctious, light-hearted Instagram account @bestofgrindr, which highlights the highs and lows of being a queer male in a amusing way, is refreshing. The kitschy account posts relatable content about everything from awkward interactions with straight guys (featuring Azealia Banks) to self-destructive behavior and the perils of modern-day dating. @bestofgrindr removes the feelings of shame, guilt, or alienation that can accompany queerness and turns it into a sassy, chic experience.