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Meet the admin behind your mental health memes

Memes: They make you laugh out loud, tag your friends and hit that share button.

They can also be a conversation starter. If you’ve been trawling Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr in the last 12 months, you may have stumbled across memes that target mental health.

In Australia alone, 3 million people are living with anxiety and or depression, however, only 35% seek treatment.

Julia, 20, is a university student from the outskirts of New York City. She’s also the brains behind @binchcity, an instagram account which regularly posts memes about anxiety and depression, and has garnered over 40,000 followers.

Elle Conway spoke to Julia about her account, and about how in this case, laughter really is the best medicine.

How long have you been creating memes for?

For about 1.5 years.

What inspired you to create memes about mental health?

I was going through a hard time mentally, and was really depressed. I honestly thought making jokes about it helped. Sometimes you just have to laugh at things that are painful.

You’ve acquired an impressive Instagram following. What do you think it is about your work that resonates with your followers?

I guess some of the experiences I have are more universal than I think. It’s been interesting to see that a lot of other people think the way I do.

Have any of your followers ever reached out to you for help?

I’ve had followers reach out to me and say that my content helped them. I’ve gotten a couple people who ask about medications and therapy as well.

Memes targeting depression and anxiety are circulating social media frequently, however eating disorder memes are harder to find, and are often attached with a ‘warning’ tag when searched. Whilst all three are mental illnesses, what do you think differentiates eating disorders from anxiety and depression from a social media perspective?

I’m a psych major so there actually is a psychological backing to why this is the case. Eating disorders can be competitive and compulsive, easily triggered by seeing other people post about eating disorder habits. A lot of people who have eating disorders have depression and/or anxiety, but eating disorders are a very specific set of behaviors, as opposed to depression and anxiety are more just labels for kinds of feelings.

Do you think there needs to be more help for youth with mental illness? And if so, what?

I think everyone should go to therapy. Mental health is really neglected in the United States, and although I think it’s becoming less stigmatized, there are not enough resources for people who need them, especially for people who can’t pay out of pocket for therapy and/or medication. Healthcare should cover mental health as well, and it should be more accessible to everyone.

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