Friday Favorites: Fictional Characters and Mental Illness

Sometimes when you have a mental illness, you can't help but thinking about how you wish your life could be a movie where everything in life works out well in the end. Sometimes you compare yourself to fictional characters that seem to have a great life and have everything going for them. On a new theme for Fridays, we thought talking about our favorite things that deal with mental illness would help bring back reality and realize that not everyone has everything figured out...fictional or not.

As someone who has struggled with anxiety for years, I picked characters who have struggled with similar things like anxiety, panic attacks, and being an introvert.

Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf was one of the first characters that I ever related to when I was a teenager. His struggle to be the best person he can be as a human while all of his friends are supernatural creatures finds it's way through his personality and releases itself as panic attacks and constant worry about himself and his friends. He compared his anxiety and depression to drowning which is relatable to a lot of people who have anxiety. It can manifest itself in different ways and can feel different to each person who experiences anxiety. For Stiles, his thought patterns spiral into the worst possible scenario no matter what the situation is and he can't help but feeling like he can't breathe because the thought of something bad happening is so overwhelming. Stiles also deals with trauma from personal experiences as well as ADHD throughout the series.

Another character that I think many people can relate to is Squidward. Though he seems like a grumpy man who doesn't want to be bothered, he can also be viewed as an introvert or someone who is lonely. There have been many episodes where Squidward deals with difficult feelings of hopelessness and depression. It isn't hard to see that he struggles with his self worth as well. Though he is a cartoon from under the sea, I think we can relate to his grumpiness at times. We all don't want to feel bothered by people or our jobs sometimes, and that is normal. The important thing is to make sure you continue to take care of yourself no matter what is going on.

As Winston Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

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