Many teenagers are faking serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and self-harm in an attempt to mimic famous sufferers and impress their peers.
Teenagers who took part in the study said that celebrity’s such as Kerry Katona, who suffers from bipolar disorder, and Britney Spears who famously suffered a breakdown in the public eye have both spoken out about their problems and have become an influence.
A huge 34 per cent of teenagers who took part in the study admitted to having lied about having a mental illness in the past, with 22 per cent pretending to have an eating disorder, 17 per cent pretending to self harm, 13 per cent lying about addiction, 12 per cent lying about depression and 9 per cent lying about bipolar disorder.
Whilst many teens expressed the idea that having a mental illness made them ‘unique’ with 24 per cent saying it was ‘cool’, the majority (64 per cent) said it should be taken very seriously.
If you are concerned that either yourself or somebody you know are suffering from a mental illness then please visit your GP who will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and treatment advice. You can also visit the Types of Distress area of our site where you can find fact-sheets on various mental health issues.
The original article Crazy Trend, written by Danny Buckland appears in the 27.12.2010 edition of the Daily Mirror.