“I need a vacation with grippy socks”: Gen Z slang breakdown for a trip to an inpatient psychiatric clinic (2023)

“I need a vacation with grippy socks”: Gen Z slang breakdown for a trip to an inpatient psychiatric clinic (1)

American teenagers as they werewidely spread, They are not good. In fact, they face suchserious mental problems– driven by the pandemic, but alsoanterior- that's what the US surgeon general didwarned of a "devastating" situation. Many hospitals and caregivers haveexplaineda national emergency and anew national survey foundthat many parents and educators believe that the problem is growing and that schools are unable to provide the necessary help.

Add to this the fact that suicide is thesecond cause of deathamong young people aged 15 to 24 and it is clear that Generation Z is facing a major crisis.

But the generation that is also known to be specialsign of sarcasm, he seems to struggle with using clever, if shocking, humor as his own term for mental health, slang for where people are tempted to take a break from life: on "sock break."

So, in an inpatient psychiatric clinic.

Using phrases like "I need a vacation with sticky socks" and "I'm just one meltdown away from a vacation with sticky socks" inspired by the high traction socks distributed in hospitals of all types to prevent slips and falls. but they are a hallmark of psychiatric wards: it is increasing. And while some may find the term too simplistic, young mental health advocates say the phrase is perfect.

"I think it makes a lot of sense from the point of view of Gen Z, who have collectively been brought down by society," says Amanda Southworth, 21, a mental health advocate, referring to the crisis soup: climate change, massive climate change. Shootings, anti-LGBTQ laws and rhetoric, racism and economic crises affecting young people. Using the phrase, he says, is a way to normalize the much-needed conversation about mental health with a dash of humor.

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Southworth who founded itMental health support app company Astra LabsIn 2016, he had a history of attempting suicide and was committed to a psychiatric hospital at age 18. what's the point We have a lot of mental health issues in this generation and we've inherited a very scary world and we feel like adults could fix it but now we realize it's the adults who caused it.

He goes on to explain, “Our social safety nets have been removed to the point where… psychiatry has become a symbol of being one of the few places where you can be seen and formally say 'I'. I'm not coping well with life” … and give myself to the world. So "holiday with sticky socks" is partly a joke... but it's also a generation's way of saying, "I can't do this anymore." I need a break. Don't put me to the test.'"

He also points out that it is far from a panacea, as the mental health system is in dire need of repair, even amidst stigmatizing policies like the controversial new plan.inadvertently compromising New Yorkerswith signs of untreated mental illness, as well as the terribletherapist, StudentOn-campus psychiatric carejpsychiatric bedsall over the country. This shortage of inpatient beds meant that many young people spent - at least more than 1,000, according to one doctor's estimate - days in them.Waiting for care in the country's emergencies.

youth comrades in armsGabby Frost, 25 years old, founder of suicide prevention organization.project friendsAs of 2013, he agrees with Southworth that the phrase makes sense. "I feel like when it comes to mental health and other taboo subjects, you have to be funny to destigmatize them," he told Yahoo Life. “Many people with mental health issues use humor to help them cope. It makes it less of a shock to people."

He also asks those who don't understand not to be intimidated by the word "vacation".

"Society sees vacation as something to enjoy," he says. But sometimes "you need a mental health vacation... and nobody else's."orTo do this, "Oh, I'm going on vacation with sticky socks!" but saying it when they're on edge or referring to the past [hospitalization] helps normalize the idea of ​​mental health care breaks down when you need them.

But when you hear someone say they need a holiday sock, Frost says, "I feel like it's almost like a cry for help, because it's easier said than 'I need help.'

Why do some find this disturbing

The phrase's use has alarmed some Gen Zers, who say it increases, or at least decreases, the severity of psychiatric hospitalizations for those who cause serious harm to themselves or others.

"If I see another holiday post with a sticky sock, I'm going to scream because it's not a realistic illustration."points to a young womanon TikTok, where the hashtag "Grippysockvacation" has over 72 million views and "Grippysocksvacation" has 16.8 million, and where many of the videos are set to the instrumental track "Grippy Sock Vacation" by Gabe Smith (which was not found ). yahoo life). OtherTikToker, on the other handsays, "Please stop calling this a sock vacation, it's not smart or funny."

Many others, aiming to show the truth of how they view psychiatric hospitals, shared details on TikTok: "the most depressing place on earth", "pure hell", "mandatory confinement trauma", "they got me so high that to the point of not thinking", "the climate in the ward is hostile", "the nurses were so bad", "I call it a sock chain".

Some professionals are also concerned about the boldness of the expression.

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Pamela Rutledge, media psychologist and director ofMedia Psychology Research Center, told Yahoo Life: "It's really troublesome for me when something like 'sticky socks vacation' trivializes not only the experience of mental illness but also the treatment of it."

Don Grant, Medienpsychologe and National Director of Healthy Device Management fornewport health, a mental health treatment program for teens with inpatient facilities across the country, says her reaction to the phrase, which she's heard many times from patients and on TikTok, has been mixed.

"On the one hand, I am saddened and concerned about the potential reduction in the severity of mental illness when you advocate or support inclusion in the 'Sticky Socks' program," Grant told Yahoo Life, adding that he uses different heard slang for hospitalization breaks. , including "menty-b" and "motel California" and "yoyo inspector" for a therapist.

“But on the other hand,” he continues, “I think any way to talk openly about mental health, destigmatize it, and then have a positive, safe, authentic dialogue about it is a wonderful thing, even if it means” . to use them on social media. . Media and slang to get people, especially teens, young people and youth talking about it in a meaningful way.”

Grant believes that many of the young people who use the term (or believestickeror even think about itlike a tattoo), they may not really understand the weight of these facilities, imagining more "sophisticated mental health treatments or rehabilitation programs" like those frequented by celebrities.

"In my opinion, we all have to take very seriously the fact that a young person really believes that a stay in an intensive care unit would be a coveted antidote to their current everyday life and also face it," he emphasizes. to admit someone for hospital treatment, one has to, at least in Newport, give "extremely comprehensive and complex evaluations".

She adds, "The idea of ​​a psychiatric facility being seen as an escape route worries me" and is discussed during the client reception.

Lindsay Fleming, child, adolescent and youth therapistmore than 520,000 TikTok followersEven the phrase "sticky socks" leaves her devastated.

"One thing that can be harmful about these jokes is that they can trigger people who have been in psychiatric wards," Fleming told Yahoo Life about at-risk teens browsing TikTok. "Also, it can be a barrier to treatment [outpatient therapy]," he adds, raising fears among children that revealing too much "could lead to ... the client withholds information from the therapist."

However, she understands how the phrase fits with the way members of Gen Z tend to talk about difficult topics and that it's just "another way for teens to use humor to talk about difficult things."

How can parents react?

Rutledge believes that young people see the psychiatric hospital as "a place to go alone" and "where it makes sense to get away from the world". But while parents should never dismiss "children's emotional distress," she also emphasizes the importance of helping children develop coping skills, noting that in the absence of a serious diagnosis, it's important to emphasize that "controlling rather than to learn to deal with it, it's not a good solution."

Grant suggests having honest conversations with your child and really listening when they share their struggles, mental health or anything else "no matter how innocuous or passing it may seem," she says. “Two of the most common complaints I hear from teenagers and young people are that they 'just don't get it' and 'they never listen to me.' What must I do to be heard?'”

To that end, she says, “I strongly encourage parents not to reject, ignore, shame, contradict, avoid, or deny them when their children are willing to talk to them about their struggles. . The consequences can be serious. Without judgment, ask them what they think they need and why. If they mention "vacation with sticky socks," ask what exactly they think the hospital treatment involves. Respect their words and feelings, encourage their courage to share them with you, and reassure them that you are there to love and support them no matter what."

Grant urges parents to "remain calm, take your time, and don't rush this process, even if it involves more than one conversation."

Southworth asks for understanding in this note. "Even people without mental illness," he says, "have reached the point where a vacation with sticky socks can feel like the closest thing we have to a break from the world."

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

The Trevor Project provides a 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis intervention hotline for LGBTQ youth and their families. Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678-678, or send a confidential instant message to an advisor viaTrevorChat. Additional resources are available atthetrevorproject.org.

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