Holy Mexican Martyrs by Ermes Dovico

Rotting in bed, the new (bad) fad against anxieties

They call it bed rotting. It means literally "rotting in bed": the new phenomenon, fuelled by social media, to combat anxiety. Although, not an absolute novelty, it is justified today and denotes a lack of balance.

Culture 11_08_2023 Italiano

Eco-anxiety, performance anxieties, anxieties about possible new pandemics. What can be done to counteract these forms of "living sickness"? But, rather than being invited to fight the illness, ‘someone’ invites you to retreat from the world completely and to shut yourself up in the safety of your own bedroom.

This is a phenomenon that is going viral on social media, especially on TikTok, where videos are multiplying in which users talk about their bed rotting experiences. The contents related to the topic, present on the platform, have reached millions of views. Many argue that it is the best way to take care of yourself, to fight the anxieties that afflict us, to relieve stress. Yet, just the literal translation of this English term should cause considerable concern: it means to rot in bed”.

Bed rotting consists of choosing to stay in bed during the day, which otherwise would be intended for sleep or rest. Hours become full days, and several days a week. Bed rotters stay in bed even to eat, talk on the phone, scroll through social networks, watch television. The bed becomes a privileged place to spend the day.

This phenomenon, however, is not entirely new: clinomania has long been included among psychic pathologies. It is a disorder characterised by the pleasure-seeking of staying in bed as long as possible without intending to get up. Clinomania can be associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Literally speaking, clinomania means "bed addiction". Clinomaniacs feel a strong need to stay in bed, with no concern for their responsibilities in life, and consequently impairing the ability to carry on usual daily activities. It is a real form of addiction: clinomaniacs, in fact, have an obsessive relationship with their bed, from which they hate being separated, even at the cost of not carrying out personal or professional obligations. Clinomania has nothing to do with fatigue or exhaustion. It is basically an anxiety disorder and is closely related to depression, and as such should be treated.

But in these times of social media and the justification of states of anxiety, for which responsibility is attributed solely to external causes, to worries about emergencies, whether real or not, clinomania, transformed into a self-deprecating "rotting in bed", seems almost acceptable, or at least justifiable.

The novelty is that not abandoning the mattress seems to have become a real trend. Self-neglect made into a lifestyle, such as the "Goblin mode", elected as word of the year 2022 according to the Oxford English Dictionary and which involves not worrying about one's appearance and social expectations, finding pleasure in being unpresentable .

Here too, the translation of the trendy term should make us think: "in Goblin mode", means having an evil goblin appearance. We have gone from undoubtedly an excessive concern by many people for appearance, make-up and so on, to neglect and sophisticated sloppiness. Likewise, with bed rotting we are passing from frenetic activism, which has characterised the life of our societies, to total disengagement, to taking refuge in one's bed, without passing from a balanced valorisation of time, which physiologically also requires moments of recovery, pause and rest.

The origin of these phenomena lies in the lack of balance with which to live. And the problem is that this society refuses not only that one be educated in balance, moderation, the search for the good of the person, but it rejects these same concepts. We prefer an instinctivism that responds to the desires of the moment, and not to authentic health needs. But mankind is not made to rot: neither in bed nor elsewhere.


Reality show suicides and the sham of life on social media

There are now four suicides connected to the British reality show “Love Island”: its former host, Caroline Flack, was found dead, and before her two other contestants and a boyfriend had also killed themselves. Used to being in front of the cameras 24 hours a day, when they leave they repeat it on social media. The same thing happens in Italy, and is spreading as if happiness depended on the love you receive from the world, but results in despair.