Mental Illness as the Strongest Epidemic of Modern Times

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The strongest epidemic we face today, mental illness, is maybe not growing as fast as an infectious disease but it is harder to fix as it’s not even acknowledged in a right manner or sometimes not even at all. The issue peeks through popular music as top charts are filled with songs about depression, anxiety, isolation and alienation. These emotions unraveling through a time where technology is at its peak is no coincidence. Technology is the main reason behind this alienation and it being not addressed is the reason it is affecting more and more people every day. The subject of mental illness is peeking through popular music, is caused by the influence of technology in our everyday lives and it will get worse as it is not being addressed.

The seriousness of the issue is seen through the global charts for popular music. Not only these songs are being written but they are constantly being played all around the world. Pop chart songs covering love and heartbreak have been replaced by songs covering depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide. A big example of this is Mac Miller, a musician who died in 2018 when he was only 26 years old. A couple days ago, his unfinished album he was working on before his death got released and it’s been on top of the charts since. Although the death was immediately caused by an accidental overdose, the main cause was mental illness and it is shown in this new album ‘Circles’. Some lyrics from the album are “Some people say they want to live forever. That’s way too long, I'll just get through today. Inside my head is getting pretty cluttered (Cluttered, cluttered) I try, but can't clean up this mess I made 'Fore I start to think about the future. First, can I please get through a day?”. His previous record: “Was about being fine on the surface while struggling with anxiety; this one is about knowing there’s something to be done about it”. Other artists on the top charts covering the same subjects are Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and even Logic as the song ‘1-800-273-8255’ is written to encourage people not to commit suicide.

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Mental illness has come into rise with technology. Instagram was found to have the most negative overall effect on young people’s mental health. The popular photo sharing app negatively impacts body image and sleep, increases bullying and ‘FOMO’. Especially with the existence of followers and likes, people judge their worthiness through the app. Instagram has a way of flattening lived experiences so that my best years look exactly like my bad ones, and that everything seems pretty good, all the time, for everyone. This, obviously, is not how life works for most people, and ever since Instagram has existed experts have debated what seeing an infinite scroll of other people’s happy moments is doing to our brains. With everyone having fun and living their best lives, you are pushed to despair as you compare your life to what you see on the app. A teen, prone to mental illness who isn’t popular on Instagram may be dependent on any social interaction and human connection outside of his/her own world. This is where iPhones come in and emphasize the isolation and loneliness. With everyone with a phone in their hands and earphones in their ears, dialogue is minimized and interest in other people lessen every day. This person who has given up on a social media presence may search for a connection in real life and failing to connect might result in severe consequences. No one might recognize any signs coming from this person because of the lack of knowledge about mental illness.

With mental illness becoming one of the biggest problems facing millennials, not nearly enough is being done. The lack of awareness and education is pushing people to put the blame on others. When Mac Miller died, the public eye was turned to Ariana Grande, his ex-girlfriend. After his death, Ariana’s name started trending on Twitter. She had to disable her comments on Instagram after some fans began to blame her for ex-boyfriend Mac Miller’s death. Maddy Skye on Twitter tweeted: “Just noticed Ariana Grande disabled comments on her Instagram account after a barrage of Mac Miller-related comments. Recognize the true problem here, rather than using someone else as a scapegoat & continuing the cycle”. This distracts people from the actual problem being the lack of help, as public attention is turned to shaming and gossip.

In conclusion, mental illness is a great problem in the present day and it is only about to get bigger as nothing is being done about it. Although the top charts clearly reflect the millennials struggling with this, no one is taking it seriously, and as technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, things will only get worse. It’s easier to point the finger and blame others instead of addressing the real problem which is the lack of help. What more proof do we need to start teaching the upcoming generations about mental illness so we don’t lose more people to this new epidemic?

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Mental Illness as the Strongest Epidemic of Modern Times. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from
“Mental Illness as the Strongest Epidemic of Modern Times.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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