I’m not sure what’s going on over on Twitter, but I feel like there’s been a big shift in the last year or so. All the beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers have turned to Instagram and are currently lost somewhere inside its algorithm, never to be seen again, and the majority of tweets I see these days are either Panini memes or tweets around mental health.
There seems to be a worrying shift from ‘let’s talk about mental health, remove to stigma and let everyone know it’s not shameful to talk about mental health problems’ (which is great!) to some people getting pretty extreme in their tweets. To the point where twigger warnings are an everyday thing.
While taking the stigma away from mental health and having the ability to talk about it in our daily conversations, have we actually normalised mental health to the point where people think it’s not a big deal anymore? Have we made it harder for people to express their depression and anxiety because everyone’s dealing with these issues nows, so nothing it’s out of the ordinary?
It’s almost as if this normalising of general mental health problems have made some people need to express themselves in a more extreme way. Saying ‘I feel low send, me a picture of your pet’ just isn’t getting the same amount of attention. It’s threats of self-harm, videos of people crying and absolute desperation in some peoples tweets just to.. I’m not sure what. To be heard, to be seen, for someone to reach out, for someone to do or say something that may make things better. To be forgiven for something (in some cases!).
It’s a sad world we live in when people are taking to social media to express themselves following some distress caused by mental illness. Has the healthcare system failed them? Maybe they have nobody in the real world to turn to? Maybe they want to prove they are sicker than everyone else.
I’m not sure, but something needs to change because it’s not healthy for adults to be videoing themselves mid-panic attack on a live stream. It’s not healthy to brag about how much medication you take and it certainly is not healthy to use mental health as an excuse for something you have done – rather than facing into things and apologise, there are just tweets of self-hate and distress, as if the world will turn around and say ‘it’s okay that you stole and lied about it, let’s forget’.
I’m not saying this is everyone out there, but I think people need to be a bit more careful with what they are putting online. Some people need to get offline and talk to their doctors or someone in real life.
I believe mental health should be spoken about, but not like this. It should be spoken about in a way that helps people. In a way that gives people hope that they can one day get better. That celebrates 3 years free of purging or 10 days since having a drink.
Instead, we are normalising the behaviour of sick people and because they spend a lot of time inside the mental health community, forming close relationships with those with mental health problems, it’s becoming harder and harder for these people to see the difference between what’s a healthy behaviour and what is not.