“Tic” Tok is influencing young people to pretend to have mental illnesses.

One tiktok user claims that they have an alter of a cardboard box. This is not satirical.

One tiktok user claims that they have an alter of a cardboard box. This is not satirical.

Olivia Howell, Copy Editor and Opinion-Editorial Editor

Over the past months we’ve seen some drastic TikTok trends. From dangerous challenges that have led to death to stealing school property, we’ve seen it all, but now the trends aren’t physically affecting someone, they are mentally affecting people. 

The current trend is to have a mental illness, whether it be ADHD, tourettes, DID, or autism. The trend may have been started by people that actually have these mental illnesses, but it has currently been taken over by people seeking popularity. 

The trend started with Tourette’s syndrome, a condition that affects the nervous system. It causes sufferers to have “tics” that they can not control. They could be twitches, noises, or movements. They are uncontrollable and can be quite debilitating. If you would like to read more about Tourette’s click here.

The CDC states that only 0.62% of children have Tourette’s, yet on TikTok, it seems like almost every other teen you see has the syndrome. Their “tics” are strangely convenient, reacting on beat drops to songs and seemingly on command. 

Another issue is how often that users have tics. Videos by proven notorious faker TicsandRoses, whose account is now deleted, show tics only happening once. Specifically the baking video has many tics that are not actions that are ever repeated, like slapping a spatula covered in brownie batter on her forehead. Another video showed her putting on eyeliner when she suddenly drew an “s” on her forehead and said “simba.” These tics are never repeated and seemed to happen conveniently when she was filming tik toks and not on her business youtube channel where she sold yarn. 

Adult users also claim that they developed Tourette’s syndrome after taking certain vaccines. The qualifications for diagnosis specifically state that Tourette’s cannot be developed after the age of 18 or after taking medication. 

Seeing content creators fake this syndrome has led to children starting to fake the syndrome as well. Many users have posted videos of their smaller siblings pretending to twitch and yelp while watching TV. 

After the pool of viewers wanting to see Tourette’s content was depleted, view-hungry users set their sights on ADHD. People that really have ADHD have trouble paying attention to and finishing tasks, and are often hyperactive. ADHD can have different severities and affects people in different ways depending on the person. You can read more about ADHD here.

One of the first people to make ADHD “trendy” was Gabbie Hanna. In a famous video she says that she has ADHD about 10 to 15 times. She blames her simple forgetfulness on her ADHD. When in all actuality, for people that really have ADHD it can be a struggle to even fully complete a task. 

The users on Tik Tok make it seem like it is a simple disorder that makes you daydream or zone out momentarily. This leads many people to believe that they in fact have ADHD when all they have is a common experience that happens to everyone.

This has made the amount of people claiming to have ADHD to skyrocket. These people do most likely not have ADHD as they do not display most of the symptoms and are not diagnosed. They claim that a diagnosis is too hard to obtain and that it is also too expensive. The cost of medical care in the US is very expensive, but that is no excuse to fake a mental illness. 

There are several online tests that could rule out a lot of the people online claiming to have the disorder. There are also many, many websites that give the real signs and symptoms of ADHD instead of going off of what teenage attention craving girls say on a social media app. 

The latest fruit to be plucked off the tree of mental illness was Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is an extremely rare disorder that only affects 0.1% to 1.5% of the population of the world. The disorder causes a person to have multiple identities in their mind that “switch” in and out. You can read more about it here.

DID is very hard to diagnose, but new technology and studies like this one are making it easier. This does not excuse the hundreds of people faking it on Tik Tok.

There are a few users that really seem to have the disorder and truly want to educate other users on the disorder and its effects on their lives, good or bad.

The opposite could be said for the fakers. They claim to be “education” accounts but their “educational” facts directly go against the science of the disorder or are only made up good things. 

One apparent faker said that DID was like having a lot of friends in your head. They failed to mention that it can lead to amnesia and disorientation. 

Another huge red flag is their alters. While people that really have DID can have multiple genders, ethnicities, and disabilities in their heads, they cannot have inanimate objects or animals. 

One user claimed to have alters of a ceiling fan and a cardboard box. This is impossible. Ceiling fans and cardboard boxes do not have human brains. The human brain cannot mimic that of an animal or an inanimate object. That is not the way a human brain is wired. 

If users want to have multiple personas that is fine and they should go for it, but faking a mental illness is not the way to do it.

Tik Tok users that really do have these disorders have come forward with their frustrations about trying to be heard for years on the daily struggle that they go through and suddenly their disorder is “trendy.” Mental illnesses are not trendy and never will be. These are not fun quirky things that can be shut off like a light switch when the cameras are not rolling. They are real, debilitating situations. 

It should be said for these people that though they might not have the mental illness they are faking, they most likely do have a mental illness. While these people might be doing a terrible thing in faking a mental illness, they should never be attacked. 

If you or someone you know thinks that they might have a mental illness and want to speak to someone about it, you can call 1-800-662-help or for resources in Tennessee this website has more information.