My Mam and me were chatting about Facebook one evening, generally about the stuff that people post on there. She then happened to mention that one of her Facebook friends had posted about her mental health on one of her statuses, something my Mam thought was wrong. Something which I disagreed with. Something that I made her aware of is that I suffer with my mental health also.
Which brings me to the question – should we talk about our mental health online? My answer being yes – but only if you’re comfortable in doing so.
I have no problem or shame in talking about my mental health. It’s no secret that I have suffered problems with my mental health, and sometimes still do today. More often or not, what you see on my Instagram or blog isn’t generally me all of the time. What I mean by that is I may have a smile on my face, I may have makeup on and my hair may look decent for once, but sometimes that’s just for show. Somedays, I’m struggling.
Talking about my mental health kind of makes me feel better. In a way, I find it cathartic. I always feel like when people talk about their mental health online, they could be helping somebody else. Somebody reading that status, tweet or story could be inspired to speak to someone they trust.
Like I said, only share what’s going on with your mental health if you feel comfortable in doing so. Nobody is forcing you to, we all have different coping mechanisms and there are probably a few of you out there reading this who feel uneasy about sharing your mental health story – and that’s ok. Don’t feel pressured to just because Sandra from Asda feels she can share her mental health story.
Out of interest, on my Instagram stories, I posted some polls relating to this post. I wanted to see how people see their mental health, but others also. Here are the results:
Do you like talking about your mental health online? – 60% said yes
Do you like it when others openly talk about their mental health online? – 93% said yes
Do you feel inspired to open up about your mental health online when someone you follow does?
– 74% said yes
Do you think people should keep quiet about their mental health and not talk about it online?
– 91% said no
Obviously these are just based on my followers alone. But I would like to think that people would agree with the answers to these questions.
If you want to talk about your mental health online, then do that. No one should ever criticise you or question your reasons for wanting to share you mental health status. However, like I said near the beginning, only do it if you feel content in doing so. It’s a huge step sharing your story online. I took the huge step only about a year ago and I’m glad I did. The amount of support I received was unreal. It made me feel like I wasn’t going through this alone.
As it is Mental Health Awareness Week, if you feel like you need to speak to someone right now, especially during this current climate, here are a list of numbers:
Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774
CALM – 0800 58 58 58
Mind – 0300 123 3393
No Panic – 0844 967 4848
PAPYRUS – 0800 061 4141
Samaritans – 116 123
YoungMinds – 0808 802 5544