The history of art, music, and writing is rife with tragic figures who have more or less spawned, through the tragic occurrences of their lives,…

The history of art, music, and writing is rife with tragic figures who have more or less spawned, through the tragic occurrences of their lives, legions of angst-ridden adolescent fans. Some of these fans romanticize something as grave as suicide, as debilitating as major depression; where do we draw the line between a healthy admiration for an artist’s work and dangerous romanticizing?   Suicide, I think, is a very extreme example of what is (said by some to be) often romanticized by people my age. But it shouldn’t in my opinion be romanticized to the extent that someone aspires to mimic a famous suicide. Just thinking about that possibility unnerves me.   When people romanticize something as serious as major depression, the magnitude of the pain someone who is actually going through a depressive episode experiences can be minimized by admiration for it. I’ve known some people in my life whose parents didn’t take their depression seriously and just brushed it off as “some teenage romanticization of misery”. In turn, not taking it seriously leads to other problems.   – Allyson