The internet loves joking about mental health, and it’s time to stop

This past August, I was absentmindedly scrolling through TikTok when I stumbled upon a video that caught me off guard. Gabbie Hanna — popular musician, YouTuber and TikToker — was filming herself going on a nonsensical rant about religion, claiming that she was the second coming of Christ. I was, to put it mildly, confused. I rushed to her profile and found that the video I’d seen on my “For You” page was one of hundreds Hanna had posted in the past several days. Each video I watched was more concerning than the last. At one point, Hanna even invited a stranger into her home, causing fans to worry for her safety. The consensus among viewers was clear: Hanna was experiencing a manic episode, and TikTok was on the receiving end.

This may not be the first time you’ve heard the name Gabbie Hanna. Hanna’s career has been long and convoluted, with the influencer starting out on Vine before moving to YouTube and eventually TikTok. Each platform has brought with it its own bout of controversy. On her YouTube channel, “The Gabbie Show,” she faced significant backlash after posting a video about her classmate’s fatal drug overdose. However, nothing has caused as much drama as her recent candor about her mental health struggles.

On March 6, Hanna announced that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Much of her content since then has revolved around breaking the stigma around mental illness and disability, a shift that mimics the actions of many other celebrities. Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez are just a couple examples of stars who have opened up to the public about their own mental health struggles and how it has affected their work and personal life.

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