Before we get to the list, we want to explain a bit more about romanticizing mental illness.
Mental Illness Isn’t an Aesthetic
By romanticizing something we typically mean that mental illness is made more aesthetically or more appealing than it is. Consequences or downsides of illness are often ignored, which may give the impression that having a mental disorder is interesting to have. Take a look at the last episode of season one of 13 Reasons Why, for example, Hannah Baker, the main character, killed herself on screen. The scene made it seem very peaceful like it didn’t hurt at all. But that’s not how it is in real life. Even though the scene has now been removed from the show, it had a big impact on its viewers.
A wrong portrayal of mental illness can affect viewers negatively. Mostly viewers that are already struggling with their mental health or have a predisposition towards it. They’ll try to be like the people in the shows. A prime example is Effy Stonem from Skins.