Campus health professionals were stunned to hear that 14 per cent of students identified themselves as “hoping to suffer depression” on Sydney University’s bi-yearly Health and Wellbeing survey.
Up from 0 per cent, the rise has been blamed on the number of films and novels that portray mental illness as a quirky and overall fun experience that will ultimately lead to one’s meeting Jennifer Lawrence.
Vet Science student and amateur foodblogger Miriam Talon admits she celebrated a little on receiving her diagnosis, claiming the condition would finally “give [her] life the bittersweet quality of old photographs, rainy afternoons, and bathroom mirrors with web-like cracks in the corners”.
A remarkable number of students surveyed also seemed to mistake depression for a brief malady that – like a cold – will quickly be cured through the redeeming power of love.
As for genuine, relatable portrayals of anxiety and depression? The student body have responded with a resounding “not interested”.
“Someone once asked me what it was like”, said an unnamed USyd student, “but when I began to talk about making progress and finally starting to speak in class without suffocating, they just asked me at what point I met Jennifer Lawrence.”
A feature film starring Jennifer Lawrence and depicting mental illness as an arduous, unglamorous emotional war within oneself without promise of swift resolution was slated for release in August, but was shelved for being “too depressing”.