Self-diagnosing TikTok trends are dragging people away from reason


Taken from Pixabay

The popular app, TikTok.

Ever since my early days of being enthralled with the many clips on the popular app TikTok, I have consistently found one particularly irritating type of video on my For You Page.

Over and over, time after time, people are using totally random subjects to diagnose themselves with mental disorders and mental health issues.

I have seen so many of these—it’s beginning to get worrisome. First, there was the scanning trend to see how still you could hold your hand. This was a fine trend on its own until people started claiming that shaky hands were somehow connected to anxiety. Thankfully, most people were bright enough to realize that this trend was a total fallacy and commonly made satire videos making fun of it. Unfortunately, not all trends like this one were as widely dissed.

The first trend to address is the fading smile trend. As you listen to a certain song and don’t look at the camera, your smile is supposed to fade—but only if you have depression. I am at a loss as to how people could actually believe this to be true. I myself do not have depression and my smile fades as I listen to the song. This is because my face gets tired from holding the smile, and, as I lose focus, my smile fades. I’m positive this is the case behind everyone else whose smile faded. If somebody put forth an effort, it would be simple to smile through the entire song.

Not only are these videos completely false, but they are also insensitive to those who are truly struggling with their mental health.

Another type of self-diagnosing video I have come across is “how someone with anxiety versus someone without anxiety reacts to this song.” The person who claims to have anxiety—whether this is true or not—is moving around nervously on the video as it plays at a much slower speed while the person who apparently doesn’t have anxiety sits perfectly still.

I have to shake my head at this as well. As someone with diagnosed anxiety, I can tell you that everything about the video is phony. Even someone who has had minimal interaction with someone who struggles with anxiety could easily tell. I have listened to the song at the slowest speed; the only emotion I felt was boredom. Since it was at a slow speed, it didn’t even sound like a song anymore.

Many other people have helped in trying to stop these trends, such as one video I found of a girl with clinical anxiety sitting perfectly still while the video played, enforcing the idea that how someone reacted to the song was completely irrelevant to their mental health.

The final and perhaps most concerning video I have come across was a girl taking part in a trend that “diagnoses” Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—more commonly known as ADHD—by testing if she could sing a song all the way through with added background noise. The song playing was a very popular song, so I knew the lyrics and could easily sing the song the entire way through. I was highly disgusted that someone had associated this simple task with a disorder that many struggle with.

My only shred of hope was that the girl in the video, who could also sing the entire song through, would realize that the trend was insensitive and extremely ridiculous. 

I was thoroughly disappointed when I read the caption. It read something along the lines of “I’ve never been diagnosed, but maybe I do have ADHD.”

I am clueless as to how people could possibly fathom that they have a mental health struggle or disorder based solely on how they reacted to a song or whether they could sing it or not. Most people thinking this through could easily identify how incorrect and unbelievable these trends are. So, I would like an explanation as to why so many people take part in the trends.

Not only are these videos completely false, but they are also insensitive to those who are truly struggling with their mental health. The fact that someone connects a difficult to manage and life-changing disorder to one specific reaction completely invalidates the experiences of those who have suffered. 

These “trends” need to stop.