To impressionable audiences, the portrayal that love cures depression, anxiety, etc., sends a harmful message. You don’t want people believing that they need a knight in shining armor/soulmate/partner to ‘cure’ them, ‘fix’ them, or ‘save’ them from their deteriorating mental health. I’ve read in novels how the MC forgoes getting professional help, choosing to talk to their love interest instead. And they have no background in being qualified to take on such a role which means when they give unsolicited or solicited advice, they may cause more harm.
It’s okay to seek professional help. In fact, it’s encouraged. We are not equipped to give advice unless we’re professionals. But what we can do is give love and support instead of telling people to stop crying or being sad or as such.
It doesn’t take someone to love you to make you feel like you are complete. You are not a flaw. Usually with stories that perpetuate the idea that love ‘cures’ all, mental health is misrepresented.
We need better representation instead of romanticization. Mental illness is not a quirk. Nor is it a tool for you to use carelessly when you write, just for the sake of the plot. There are already so many stigmas surrounding this, don’t add to it.
This trope spreads a harmful message that if a person has someone who loves them and shows how much more there is to life and pushes them to try harder to ‘be more positive’ or ‘ignore the negativity’, they can ‘overcome’ their mental illness. It doesn’t work that way. It only implies that the only reason a person is struggling with their mental health is that they don’t try hard enough to be better.
Love is an incredible thing to experience. It can be a great support system. But it’s not a cure.