to find the 'semicolon trend' a bit icky?

(50 Posts)
Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 13:54:50

A precis of the semicolon project is to promote awareness of depression, anxiety and attempted suicide. To borrow a phrase from 'Project Semicolon'

' A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to.
You are the author and the sentence is your life.'

You can buy semicolons stamped on jewellery, T shirts, de cals for your car, people get them tattooed onto them to promote awareness or commemorate a suicide attempt.

I understand the idea is to start a conversation about mental health, to remove stigma and to publicly commemorate a private struggle. But it feels a bit commodified to me- as if this symbol could encapsulate what it is like for every single person who has experienced mental illness. 'My story isn't over' is a phrase I find a bit trite. I almost feel like the semicolon is glamorising suicide attempts by turning the symbol into a trend.

I suspect IABU. And that I've not articulated these thoughts terribly well. What do you say?

ImperialBlether Sun 15-May-16 13:55:48

I've never heard of this! Where did you hear about it?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sun 15-May-16 13:57:55

I think it's none of your business to comment on how a person articulates their own struggle with mental ill health.

Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 13:59:02

I suffer from OCD and depression so these things pop up quite a lot on my FB, I think that's some kind of data-mining thing. Every day a new company asks me if I would like to buy a semicolon ring that says 'my story isn't over'. I'd prefer one that said 'I'm not f*cking dead'...

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Sun 15-May-16 13:59:17

I think it's none of your business to comment on how a person articulates their own struggle with mental ill health

This. If the people involved like it, what business is it of yours, or anyone elses?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sun 15-May-16 14:01:27

Terry Pratchett had that idea too, Granny Weatherwax had a sign...

Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 14:03:39

ATYP- I think, because it has become a business that I think it's worthy of comment. Are all these companies raising money for mental health causes, in selling their 'awareness' products? Project Semicolon itself contains no mental health professionals at all, they provide no connections to therapists. They mostly sell stuff and run an online community. Would that money not be better off going to mental health charities?

gwenneh Sun 15-May-16 14:04:28

I have no problem with how someone chooses to articulate their experience with their mental health.

I have a huge problem with people and companies making money off of it.

RoystonVaseySmegHead Sun 15-May-16 14:05:01

Personally, I don't see the semi-colon as a 'trend'. I see it the same as the jigsaw pieces for autism, it raises awareness. Also, for me seeing people who also have the semi-colon tattoos/on jewelry keeps me going on bad days because it lets me know there are other people out there who have conquered their mental illnesses. I think it's a lovely idea, and plan to get one as a tat when I've saved up some money persuaded myself to be brave I think yabu to see it as 'glamourising' depression/suicide, but that's just my opinion as like I said I see it as a motivational thing, each to their own and all that

Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 14:05:39

And, like I said, to me it feels like the semicolon is glamorizing suicide attempts. I don't really like the idea of trying to distill the experience of hundreds of thousands of people into one handy marketable symbol.

differentnameforthis Sun 15-May-16 14:06:36

But it feels a bit commodified to me- as if this symbol could encapsulate what it is like for every single person who has experienced mental illness

No one is saying that it encapsulates the struggle for every single person who has experienced mental health issues. At least, I haven't see that.

Causes like this...they help people. They help people identify with something that means something to them, and something that "speaks" to them about their struggle.

Some people identify with the spiritual world, or a God, or crystals, or little figurines. Everyone has some sort of struggle. Everyone has a coping mechanism.

No one is asking you to embrace something that YOU don't agree with, however, I think it is rude to refer to something that people find comfort in, as "icky" just because you don't like it.

Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 14:07:49

I have much stronger words than just 'icky' for God

lulucappuccino Sun 15-May-16 14:08:59

YANBU. As someone who's experienced very dark times, I agree with you. Attention-seeking, petty and embarrassing.

MumUndone Sun 15-May-16 14:13:56

I understand where you're coming from OP, but anything that raises awareness of depression and serves to destigmatise it is a good thing I think.

AugustaFinkNottle Sun 15-May-16 14:17:21

How ridiculous to say it is none of OP's business. This is a business venture. Anyone is entitled to comment.

BombadierFritz Sun 15-May-16 14:23:05

Thought this would be about yr6 sats! A disturbing trend to apply semi colons everywhere.

Yes, it does sound tacky and commercialised. I dont like the jigsaw piece/autism stuff either though. I am probably a miserable cow.

SaucyJack Sun 15-May-16 14:24:32

I don't think anything respectful about it, but each to their own.

If I wanted to advertise my own struggles with the dark side to the wider world (which I don't particularly) then I'd just roll my sleeves up.

Somethingkindaooh Sun 15-May-16 14:26:07

I have a semi colon project tattoo in the form of a butterfly
It was significant to me, as when i had it done was my birthday, and 5 years of recovery.

So yes YABU, it is not icky... It has significance for me.

CaptainCrunch Sun 15-May-16 14:29:13

My DD overhead this conversation at the restaurant she worked in about 2 years ago:

1st girl: I'm going to get a semi colon tattoo to show that I go on.

2nd girl: Get a full colon, cause you're full of shit.

Seems like this trend isn't especially new and is attention seeking nonsense.

Banderwassnatched Sun 15-May-16 14:30:01

Oh I don't think there's anything wrong in the least with me thinking it is icky. Saying it might be, I don't know. It's because this symbol is supposed to represent something that affects me that seeing it makes me angry. If you tell me a picture of a cat symbolizes arthritis, I don't think I'd care.

Somethingkindaooh Sun 15-May-16 14:31:13

I have never explained mine to anyone.. At a glance noone would see the semi colon.

The last thing someone with anxiety wants is attention...

LaurieFairyCake Sun 15-May-16 14:41:51

Well I think the idea of the semi colon is a good idea that raises awareness

I personally know of more than one young adult survivor of abuse who's had a small semi colon tattoo

No money/marketing involved and a powerful statement of survival from just really quite remarkable and brave young people

So, there's a way to do it without supporting a company

Bogeyface Sun 15-May-16 14:42:22

I agree that the blatant commercialism that has grown from it is distasteful. How someone chooses to mark their own illness/struggle is up to them, but I have an issue with companies who make this stuff simply to get profit from it.

BeyondTellsEveryoneRealFacts Sun 15-May-16 14:44:26

I think there is a difference between someone (for eg) having a tattoo and (like you something) never having to explain to anyone OR "oh look at my new semi colon tattoo, oh yes its to mark my choosing not to commit suicide" on the school run, with someone you barely know.

I'm fancying a zebraprint jigsaw piece with a semi colon and a "lightening" ribbon inside it...

BagpussOhSagpuss Sun 15-May-16 14:47:11

When you are in the terrifying grip of crippling anxiety and depression, a little symbol of hope can be invaluable.
This is the way my daughter viewed the semi colon project.
It kept her going, it gave her hope that recovery was possible even though that seemed impossible at the time.
Like all things, it's all in your own individual interpretation. Some people find it wierd, some helpful, and some don't care.
However, I find the idea that the Semi colon symbol is glamourising suicide is frankly ridiculous. I would suggest you look up the semi colon project online, and read what is actually about- it is celebrating the decision to live, not glamourising a desperate decision to die.

www.projectsemicolon.org

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