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The Dangers of Cancel Culture For Those With Anxiety

cancel culture ocd Jan 18, 2023
Cancel culture

Getting canceled! Does this scare anyone else? To know that anyone can investigate your entire past and then destroy your future based on a mistake. Even the smallest of mistakes, the prank video you made when you were younger, the comments that you made when you are angry, the misunderstanding and perception that somebody had on something that you did.

What is cancel culture?

Cancel culture, also known as "call-out culture," has become a pervasive and polarizing topic in recent years. At its core, cancel culture refers to the idea of holding individuals or groups accountable for their actions or beliefs, often through public shaming and backlash on social media.

While some argue that cancel culture is an important way to hold people accountable for harmful behavior, others believe that it can be overly punitive and can lead to the suppression of free speech.

I mean where's the grace. Seriously, our brains are not developed until we are about 25 years old anyway. We are going to make a lot of dumb and stupid mistakes. This canceled culture defines a whole person on a mistake.

You can see why this fear is now becoming very prominent. In fact a recent study showed that one out of every four adults are hyperaware of what they say and do as to not get "cancelled".

Cancel culture and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) may not seem like they have much in common at first glance, but they both involve a fear of being judged or punished for one's actions or beliefs.

Cancel culture and OCD

One of the main concerns with cancel culture is its potential to trigger obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in individuals who are already susceptible to the condition. OCD is a mental disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors, and it can be triggered by events or experiences that cause significant anxiety or distress.

Cancel culture, with its constant barrage of judgment and criticism, can be a particularly triggering environment for individuals with OCD. The fear of being "cancelled" or ostracized can lead to obsessive thoughts and compulsions, such as repeatedly checking social media for evidence of wrongdoing or engaging in excessive self-criticism.

Additionally, the nature of cancel culture, which often involves the swift and harsh condemnation of individuals without a fair and thorough examination of the situation, can exacerbate existing OCD symptoms. The need for perfection and fear of making mistakes are common themes in OCD, and cancel culture can reinforce these beliefs and lead to an increase in OCD-related behaviors.

Individuals who struggle with OCD often worry that the thoughts they are having are not going to be understood by somebody else. So sharing an experience online that they are having intrusive thought that is taboo in nature may risk them getting canceled. The difficult part is, if these topics are not talked about they continue to be scary and taboo. OCD is such a misunderstood disorder. For somebody who does not experience it, you can seem made up or an excuse to use a certain label or theme of OCD.

As you may or may not know, OCD attacks what you care about. This can make somebody questioned about their kids, the relationship, their sexual identity, the religion, make them feel like their bad person. So on top of these intrusive scary thoughts, individuals often are nervous that the world will simply not understand.

Cancel culture and anxiety

Over the past few years I've seen this cancel culture OCD rear its ugly head. Individuals stop posting online, they throw away their journal, their keepsakes, sometimes they choose not to leave their house in fear that they will be misunderstood or risk saying or doing something that would get them canceled. Their goal is to erase their entire past so that nothing could ever be dug up. It becomes extremely obsessive and anxiety runs ranpid. Sometimes every word that comes out of their mouth is calculated and thought out just to make sure they don't slip up.

With this all or nothing attitude, we are doomed.

If you follow the news, individuals tend to get canceled for big mistakes, illegal things that they've done, and downright wrong. On the other hand, others may have got canceled because of something very minor or a misunderstanding. Either way I feel like our goal in life is to learn from the mistakes that we have made and move forward. Not let this define who we are regardless of what the world says.

While this fear affects many people even those without OCD, let me give you some tips that will help you learn how to deal with this better. Ultimately our goal is to continue living life, have the conversations that we want to have, do things that we want to do. Make mistakes and learn from them. Take responsibility for the major things that we do. Ultimately when this fear controls somebody's life so much that they're not willing to live life, that's where you're going to feel like you are risking a lot. Individuals practice going out and having conversations with other people. Posting more on social media. Writing in their journal so it has a record. We actually move closer to the fear of the possibility that you might get canceled instead of try to protect. The goal isn't to go out and say a bunch of offensive stuff but instead live life the way that you have been living life. Feel the anxiety and move forward anyway.

When there is a problem and if there is a problem we will solve it. Often people use phrases such as I might get canceled today. Maybe someone will see this post and misunderstand it. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe I don't know. But I am choosing to live life today because that is what is important. When we stop protecting based on a perceived threat we get to start moving forward. It can feel risky, but there is so much freedom in knowing that I got to do what I wanted to do today. While there is always a risk for most things we do in life, there is more pain in sitting in the shadows and not living, hoping it doesn't happen to you.

If you missed it, I posted a video a little bit ago about how I was brutally attacked online by someone who misunderstood what OCD was. I shared my experiences on this video and how I overcame this fear of being canceled. Go watch that now.

And I want to know, have you ever had the fear of being canceled?

Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you next time!

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