Why People in the Anime Community Tend to Have Mental Health Problems
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Look, before you attack me and send me hate-mail saying, “no that is not true, I don’t have any mental problems,” I would like to say that every community has its own set of problems. For example: The Hip Hop community has an ego problem, the party people community (what else should we call it) has a low self-esteem problem., and the list continues.
We all have problems. However, because I am an anime nerd, I wanted to address the problems in our community. People watch anime for many reasons but one thing that I continue to see is that many people in the anime community have some kind of mental problem whether if it’s seeping out red chakra like Naruto or contained within a ninja seal, we all have mental problems, myself included.
When I first started going to conventions back in 2011 to 2012, I wondered, “why do so many of these kids have mental problems.” This is the answer that I came up with.
Anime Attracts Outcast
I mean come on. It’s obvious. One of the reasons why Naruto is so popular is because so many people can relate to it. Ever noticed that party people are attracted to reality TV shows (if those are still around). Anime has many underdogs. Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho. Shounen anime shows the struggle that young men face and although most of those stories take place either in Japan or an Asian like setting, teens can relate to that so much.
When I first watched Naruto in high school I thought, “dude, he is just like me.” I was alone, I never lived with my mother or father. I felt like the person who created Naruto somehow knew me as well.
This applies to magical girl anime like Sakura Card Captors (great anime, by the way, check it out). Serena from Sailor Moon is an underdog. She is not very smart; she struggles with school like most kids with mental problems struggle with academics. However, what we love about these shows is that they teach us to have grit. That is why right. The power of the human spirit. To grab life by the neck and keep choking it until it gives us what we want.
People that are outcasts are usually alone or have a small group of friends. When we can finally muster enough money to go to anime conventions and make some friends, life changes and we find some happiness.
There is nothing better to watch the underdog go from zero to hero.
Many teens with mental problems get made fun of. I have two friends that are exactly like that. One has a mild form of autism and the other has twitching problems, attention problems and the list keeps going. One of the things that we love about anime is for example: the super Saiyan transformation or the burst of energy when you needed it the most.
This creates an emotional connection with the anime characters.
The Kids That Escaped Trauma
Much like video games, anime is a form of escapism, however, why do some people get obsessed with anime over, let’s say, superheroes? While DC and Marvel superheroes are great, anime has a variety of stories. Superhero shows are predictable: the villain comes and causes a problem and the hero has to stop the villain. Right.
Anime and manga creators always try something different with their art and story. Take a look at Tiger and Bunny for example: an anime about superheroes but when you watch it you see that it has way more to it than just superheroes.
Many anime fans grow up in troubled homes. I met plenty that did. At conventions, it was hard not to find a soul that did not come from a troubled home. About 7 out of 10 kids that are huge anime fans came from troubled homes and have some sort of depression, anxiety, social anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. They find some solace watching anime and escaping into these beautiful worlds. You see, many anime characters have what the fans wish they had and that is “grit,” “strong will,” “confidence,” “and a burning desire to overcome adversity.” One of the reasons that anime fans love these characters is because many anime fans can be really… lazy in life.
You know the stereotype of the nerd living in their mother’s basement. It’s true. We wish we had a strong enough will to get out of mom and dad’s basement and to have the confidence to get that girl that we want so bad.
It is a way to escape our trauma and it sucks to say but it is also a way to escape ourselves.
The Children Who Grew Up Without Parents
If you are like me, someone who grew up without a father then you can probably relate to Naruto. Many anime characters grow up without one of their parental figures. Rarely do you see them with both parents.
Now let’s talk about the effects that single-parent homes have on a child’s mental health.
It is obviously much better to raise a child with both parents in the house. However, when a child grows up in a single-parent household, it tends to take a toll on his mental health. If the father was not around then the mother is going to expect him to be the man of the house when really the child has no father figure to teach him how to be a man. If there is no mother in the household and the child is raised by a single dad, then the kids grow up with a lack of empathy or compassion and have a hardheaded attitude. The father teaches the kids how to defend themselves from the real world and the mother teaches them to love and respect others.
Losing a parent or being raised without parents causes confusion on a child. The mental stress carries on for years. This mental stress then manifests into the child wanting to shut other people from his life, anti-social behavior, tantrums in school, unable to pay attention in school and so on.
These behaviors are common in anime characters. Especially the super popular ones like One Piece and Dragon Ball Super. So, when the kids sit down and see someone who is just like them, someone that they can finally relate to, they are hooked for life. They will never forget about Naruto, Goku, Luffy or Yusuke.
This is why the anime community has a lot of mental problems. It starts at home.
Don’t forget to visit Andy Art TV website 🙂 If you want to know my take on this article you can scroll down to the comment section, I’ll be there waiting for you 😉