who am i?
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
- Audrey Hepburn
My name is Farren Barnett, and I am a Psychology major at Texas Christian University. I'm from Fairview, Texas and I graduated from Lovejoy High School in 2014. I guess you could say that I grew up in kind of a bubble. It's a smaller affluent community where everybody knows everything about everyone. I was, am, basically your typical teenager girl-enjoying things like shopping, movies, spending time with friends.
In high school, things got a little too real in some instances. I've always been the listener of my friend group. Suddenly, I was hearing things that I didn't know how to deal with; I was faced with problems that I didn't know how to solve. My friends were dealing with depression, sexuality issues, eating disorders, and anxiety.
I guess you could say that life got put in perspective for me. My problems seemed so small compared to the real issues they were dealing with. They were facing big, adult issues and I still couldn't decide which shoes to wear with what top.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
The short answer: I'm doing this for an English class. We have to do an advocacy project, and I just chose to advocate for this. I decided to make a website because it has the potential for a more global platform. In my English class, we talked a lot about Sylvia Plath. For those of you who may not know, Plath was a famous poet in the mid 20th century. She was very depressed and attempted suicide several times. In 1963, she stuck her head inside the oven and turned on the gas, effectively killing herself. A lot of people really enjoy Sylvia Plath's poetry, but I'm not one of those people. With poems like Cut and Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath writes poetry in a way that paints mental illness, and suicide attempts, as something that is beautiful. I don't agree with that.
The long answer: Like I said before, I'm a Psychology major. I hope to pursue Clinical Psychology in graduate school. I started developing an interest in mental illness my freshman year of high school and I've become more and more interested as the years have gone on. Like I mentioned, several of my friends have mental illnesses. I've watched some of them get help; some of them not.
In addition, I've had a Tumblr for several years and have watched the number of posts romanticizing mental illness grow exponentially. I have seen firsthand how the effects of dealing with things like depression and eating disorders can wreck havoc on someone's life. And yet, we find these things on Tumblr and social media depicting troubled teens as "cool" or "edgy."
There is nothing "cool" or "edgy" about mental illness. We have to stop romanticizing things that hurt. There is nothing beautiful about mental illness. It's something that controls and consumes your life without you even knowing it. It changes your life, and you are left completely helpless. So no, mental illness isn't beautiful. Recovery is beautiful-getting help is beautiful.