I am deeply disturbed by the recent quiz on Playbuzz that purports to inform its takers whether or not they are bipolar. For this reason I have composed the following petition on change.org which I ask you to sign and circulate among your friends:
Buzzfeed calls itself the largest humor site on Facebook. It reaches nearly 500,000 people, many of whom are impressionable teenagers and young adults.
Recently, it published quizzes purporting to identify whether the test taker was bipolar or OCD. There were many problems with these quizzes.
The first was that many of the questions — especially on the Bipolar quiz — had nothing to do with the disease itself. People with bipolar disorder who have taken the test have been told that they don’t have the disease. Others who don’t have it, have been told that they have.
Second, they make light of syndromes that wreck the lives of those who struggle with them.
Third, the results may give the people the illusion that they have the disease when they don’t or don’t have it when they do. This can lead people to unwisely abandon their treatment or eat up valuable time at the psychiatrist assuaging their fears that they have the illness when they do not.
Fourth, the test has no medical disclaimers to the effect that it is no substitute for accurate diagnosis by a medical professional.
Fifth, the staff at Buzzfeed has been disingenuous about these harms and refuses to remove the tests from their site on the grounds that they are “just entertainment”.
We who live with mental illness live with the hardship of stigma. We are treated like children. We are told that we are faking our symptoms or that they “really aren’t that bad”. Buzzfeed’s arrant insensitivity must end.
Please sign the petition at the site.