Prozac Nation, meet Lexapro sweatshirts | ET REALITY

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When Eileen Kelly started a blog, “Killer and a sweet thing in 2016 which focused on mental and sexual health, It was rare to see sites entirely dedicated to these topics, much less filled with levity. “Society’s attitude toward mental health has evolved significantly,” Kelly said, noting the memeification of mental health on the Internet.

After being hospitalized for her mental health for five months in 2019, she started a podcast, becoming mental, in which he spoke candidly with interviewees about depression, his own struggle with borderline personality disorder, and other similar topics. His guests include celebrities and notable personalities such as Amanda Knox, Michael Cohen, Bella Thorne, Madison Beer and Alex Cooper. Kelly, 28, has embraced the way many Gen Z and millennial internet users talk about mental health and address serious topics: with a casual, memeified openness that’s both serious and comedic. (The main photo of Ms. Kelly’s podcast shows her leaning against a white tile background, looking disheveled and wide-eyed, with her hands raised, as blood drips from her mouth and runs down her chin and neck).

Last year, Kelly ventured into fashion with a line of products related to mental health. The selection included a T-shirt that said “Depressed But Make It Hot” and a variety of antidepressant-themed sweatshirts that said “Lexapro,” “Prozac” and “Zoloft.” They sold out quickly.

Kelly isn’t the only creative professional bringing mental health to the realm of fashion. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a 25 percent increase in people suffering from anxiety and depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Designers, in turn, responded to the crisis through clothing.

Beauty Beautya 2000s-inspired brand founded in 2019, takes to the sidewalks of downtown New York City with its “I hate my anxiety” hat. Praying, a cult-favorite clothing line, sells hoodies emblazoned with phrases like “stress, nervousness and anxiety” and “You matter, don’t give up.” Lingua francaa high-end knitwear company, sells a cashmere sweater embroidered with “It’s okay to feel sad.” The brand caters to an older demographic and donates 20 percent of its profits to Your mom cares, a mental health nonprofit. Other fashion brands such as Bianca Chandon and San Miguel sell anxiety-themed t-shirts.

Emily Oberg, CEO of Sporty and rich, an athleisure brand, takes a more Goop-esque approach to wellness. The brand recently launched a “Wellness Club” collection, featuring preppy clothing with the words “Wellness” and “Health” printed on it. “The clothing we make is a vehicle to spread a positive message,” Oberg said. “It’s important that people are encouraged to take care of themselves.”

For Kelly, the merchandise is a step toward destigmatizing mental health treatment. “I focused a lot on making sure that no one feels embarrassed about having to take these medications,” he said, adding that he takes Lexapro daily and doesn’t want to see it as “depressing and sad.” She designed the clothing in pastel colors, taking inspiration from college clothing, hoping that people would proudly wear their medications the same way they would wear their college’s name.

Dr. Shannon Bennett, clinical director of the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Mental Health Center, believes that the trend is positive. “The goal of raising awareness, decreasing stigma and contributing to a culture of shared support is a good thing,” he said.. “Seeing someone on the street who you can identify with validates your feelings and helps you feel less alone.”

The fashion trend also resonates deeply on TikTok: the hashtag for anxiety has over 34 billion views and allows Gen Z and millennial users to reclaim their mental struggles as a form of self-expression. Although the style varies between brands, young consumers are the constant. “Basically every successful young person I know has anxiety,” said Willa Bennett, 29. She is the editor-in-chief of Highsnobiety, a fashion and media brand, and a front-row figure during fashion weeks. “It’s no longer taboo to talk about it.” Ms. Bennett herself is a proud owner of Beepy Bella’s “I Hate My Anxiety” hat.

In February, when Highsnobiety released a magazine spread with portraits of people sobbing, “It immediately went viral,” Bennett said. She said the photo shoot was inspired by a tiktok trend where users filmed videos of themselves creating makeup looks that mimicked tears streaming down their faces. The success of the shoot, he said, shows how social media has created more space to talk about mental health while also dramatizing and having fun with it, and even making fun of it. “Fashion is a great outlet,” he said, adding that it made sense that young people would want to use it as a medium to express their mental health issues.

The trend is not without controversy. Ms. Oberg has been widely criticized by consumers for promoting out-of-touch wellness ideas. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Ms. Oberg reposted a graphic comparing fast food to “real food.” writing: “Stop making excuses!! Being healthy is not just for the privileged!” Kelly has also received backlash from people who think her antidepressant-themed sweatshirts are insensitive; commenters on your social media posts She has been accused of exploiting serious problems for profit.

But Ms Kelly believes that calling for diagnosis and medication use informally and publicly destigmatizes the issue and brings people together. “You don’t have to fight alone anymore,” she said. Ms. Bennett echoed the sentiment. “Nowadays, it’s more acceptable to embrace mental health,” he said. “Style is just the natural next step.”

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