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Mental Health: should it be ignored in rps?

MsMorbid

Member
as a person with a few mental disorders beneath my belt and some time expressing and writing as characters with these traits ive recently had some thoughts;
what if it was just better if no one had problems?
does it make a role play better if everyone reacts the same way? or with only slight variations?
does it make a role play better if the blotchy parts of human existence are erased?

sure there are movements going forth through social advocates to get more light on something that people have been hiding away for centuries, it is still taboo. especially with how twisted Hollywood has made disorders appear to the average person.
but should we bring that darkness into a role play. should OCD, ADHD, MDD, or PTSD be actual problems that characters deal and cope with?
should the trauma of a character's background have a name?
 

TheNerd

I'm just a nerd
I actually already have characters that suffer with various mental disorders (the most prevalent being PTSD or C-PTSD), me myself having anxiety. I think whether or not that characters suffer with mental issues is completely up to the creator of said characters.

Personally, I think it'd be a dystopia if nobody had problems, as most of the characters would really be lying to themselves if they had a less than ideal past but still came out with no scars. In fact, the fact their mental health is spotless would probably indicate even bigger issues.

Also, I tend to find "perfect" rps boring. If nothing goes wrong, there is no action. There is no dialogue. There is no story.

Overall, I'd say to encourage creativity on it, but warn to tread lightly.
 

Crow

YOU MEAN
what if it was just better if no one had problems?
Every character needs flaws.

does it make a role play better if everyone reacts the same way? or with only slight variations?
No. It is preferred if people were different. It provides more viewpoints.

does it make a role play better if the blotchy parts of human existence are erased?
Depends. Some writers tug deep. Others prefer a happy-go-lucky tone. Personally I say it does not. You cannot have the good without the bad.
 
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MisterIodine

Not To Be Confused With Bromine
Mentor
I like to thread in very realistic situations, so having a character having flaw like a mental health issue is something I often do. People aren't perfect, and neither should your characters be.

So... I mean, it's up to you. I honestly prefer to make them vulnerable like that, but it's your choice
 

Kura Fujimura

Novella Roleplayer
I depends on the person, you can tell when someome is doing it for personality and when someone is doing it to make a character/oc more human.

I've seen too many people write characters with PTSD and don't have any trauma or characters with OCD which is all about being a neat freak and not having anything else to the character.

But if it's been researched and is done properly, I don't see a problem with it, it makes it easier to relate and get interested in a character.
 

lithiumacid

New Member
I have nothing against it, i personally use my characters to try and cope with what I go through. it does no harm if its well researched but if its just a spur of a moment with stereotypes i find that somewhat harmful
 

Sockth

Member
I have nothing against it, i personally use my characters to try and cope with what I go through. it does no harm if its well researched but if its just a spur of a moment with stereotypes i find that somewhat harmful
Absolutely! If a mental disorder is well researched and is not meant to be harmful, I believe it's fine to put it onto a character. Reflecting can be important to make a character seem realistic and can help people cope. Having roleplays with mental disorders and without mental disorders is so valid. Sometimes you just want to escape from your own problems and sometimes you just want to internalize them. Roleplay with the other person's consent can be really helpful for coping due to this and so can character creation! It also makes the character more relatable for them to have issues in general.
 

CheshireMitsu

The Cheshire Cat
as a person with a few mental disorders beneath my belt and some time expressing and writing as characters with these traits ive recently had some thoughts;
what if it was just better if no one had problems?
does it make a role play better if everyone reacts the same way? or with only slight variations?
does it make a role play better if the blotchy parts of human existence are erased?

sure there are movements going forth through social advocates to get more light on something that people have been hiding away for centuries, it is still taboo. especially with how twisted Hollywood has made disorders appear to the average person.
but should we bring that darkness into a role play. should OCD, ADHD, MDD, or PTSD be actual problems that characters deal and cope with?
should the trauma of a character's background have a name?
i think that it is something that should be in roleplays

the more important reason, i feel like it can help people with those disorders. making your own story where your character, especially if its based off of you (like all my characters partially are), gets past those negative mentalities, is really satisfying. people don't usually know about this for me online, but i tend to feel really negative a lot, and making a character like mine with a mind similar to mine feel better tends to make me feel better. yeah, im part self-insert, but its better for making relatable and convincing characters-- and my characters arent all me. theyre half-breeds

also, from a story perspective, its better for plain character and plot development. in the The Young Elites series (which you might know, might not, idk its just my favorite series) the plot could just be how the MC Adelina is brought into a group of people with powers, but it was her mental instability from her powers that lead into the plot. I wont tell spoilers, since you should probably read it if you havent
 

MarronQuillnest

I'm not immature, I just know how to have fun
I think it depends. If you do it correctly and you are respectful then yes. If you don't suffer from said mental illness I would research about it before you played a character with a mental illness so you can make it as accurate as possible.
 

TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
does it make a role play better if everyone reacts the same way? or with only slight variations?
does it make a role play better if the blotchy parts of human existence are erased?
yeah, I'd say no. Not only would it be a false reality, but it would be disingenuous to ourselves and the world we live in to just pretend they didn't exist, even in roleplays.
 

knox

A really lazy dragon who really likes cake.
personally i believe that as long as you depict the mental illness in a correct and realistic way, its fine. i deal with depression and awful anxiety, and id get kinda mad if someone was making a mockery of my illness. BUT if you can depict the illness well and realistically i have no problems with it
 
I think the writing community would be remiss if mental health issues were erased or ignored. It's not realistic, and it'd sure make for a boring story. I regularly write characters experiencing depression, PTSD, C-PTSD, anxiety, and so on. That said, it's important writers are doing their due diligence to portray these illnesses and experiences as respectfully and accurately as possible. Research is important! Not only that, but its critical to include trigger warnings when approriate out of consideration for your fellow writers.
 

DireRaven

Member
A lot of my opinions on it seem like other people have shared it already; mental health issues have a place in both rp and in writing in other forms because it's unrealistic to believe that they wouldn't exist (especially in fantasy worlds, I mean can you imagine what it would feel like to survive after your family was burned by a dragon?) and that it needs to be done respectfully and accurately. But deeper than that, it can take an already compelling character and push them to the next level. If someone is already invested in a character for every other facet of them, and then they discover that the same character they already love shares a struggle with them it can help them feel represented and affirmed. In rp specifically, I think mental health and things like addiction help make your character more fleshed out. Not all times are good times, and not every character can float through the bad times without it weighing on them - One of my current characters is a deity that suffers from alcoholism, something I've had plenty of experience with thanks to the men in my life, and it's her crutch when things get especially bad for her; I'll leave you to the mental imagery there.

And then, as others have said, if everyone were perfect things would be boring. If everyone could trust, love, etc. blindly then there would be no depth to a story. You'd get exactly what you saw on the tin and that would be that. Some of the best stories are born from the inability for people to do everything perfectly. It gives depth, and a mental escape, to a story that would make them far less interesting without them.
 
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Neko

Member
As many other people have said, mental health is a thing that shouldn't be ignored in rps or the real world. It's a very serious topic that can be difficult to write, but also a good thing to spread awareness of it. Pretending that it doesn't exist or that it magical goes away with a snap of fingers is not realistic and harmful as well as disrespectful to those that suffer from it. Not to mention, if you're going to dive into the topic, you have to make it realistic and not some outlandish thing. It's a serious topic and should be treated as such, even in writing. I have a lot of characters that have some sort of mental illness- anxiety, depression, and other things. I suffer from the first two and they say to write what you know, so I do. If I dive into something that I don't have or know about, I do a ton of research to make sure I'm not getting anything wrong. That's another thing one should do regardless of the topic. Research. As boring as it might be, it's useful and helpful and will better improve your writing and topic.
 
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