lifestyle

Using Twitter as therapy

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.

Using Twitter as therapy

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.

1. noun: a female blogger that writes about her own experiences, observations and opinions. 2. verb: to act like a complete idiot or to do something stupid. e.g: She did a Corinne.

2 Comments

  • Panty Buns

    My apologies in advance for the length of this comment:
    I hope that fashion beauty and lifestyle bloggers will continue Tweeting and sharing their posts and videos on Twitter. That’s one of the things I love most there, in addition to breaking news and some of the Worldwide trends.
    I agree that live-streaming video of oneself having a panic attack is, understating it, far less than optimal.
    I do think It’s very important for most people to have someone who will listen, try to understand and hopefully be supportive. Sometimes Twitter can provide that.
    Certainly having a good therapist one is comfortable with if one can afford it can be helpful.
    Unfortunately a lot of people fall through the cracks. There are hundreds of millions if not billions of people who experience trauma inducing life situations through no fault of their own, and not everyone has access to or can afford a good therapist.
    Unfortunately under the blight of Trump, there are millions of people suffering and in desperate situations both here in my country and abroad.
    Sharing with a close and trusted friend, being able to share at a meeting (like AA, NA or ACOA etc., etc.) can sometimes help. Sometimes we are not in control of our life situations, and sometimes It is hard to find someone.
    There are times when Twitter has been used like a suicide hotline. Perhaps that’s not all bad. Although Twitter may not be the ideal place to seek help, there are some cases where it may be better than calling authorities – case in point: the tragic shooting to death by police of actress Vanessa Marquez who was suffering with terminal refractory Celiac Disease, Fibromyalgia and epilepsy. Police are not the right ones to call when people are experiencing severe depression and anxiety.
    Mental health definitely needs to be talked about. There are a lot of depressed people out there and a psychopath in the White House who is actively trying to cause the healthcare system to fail. Hey @Twitter @Jack , you can help: #BanTrumpFromTwitter and purge the hateful trolls.
    In the meantime, hopefully, the good Tweeps on Twitter will be supportive to the depressed and Tweet more cat pics GIFs and videos to cheer us up.
    Hopefully, also, there will be more of what we joined Twitter to experience as well.
    Here’s wishing everyone serenity, health, courage, wealth, wisdom and happiness.

  • Sarah

    Sometimes it feels like social media glorifies mental health issues instead of helping them. I feel like a lot of misinformation ends up out there and people are giving themselves labels and self diagnosing potential mental health issues that they don’t have – but they want to be part of the ‘gang’, or they’ve not actually sought out professional diagnosis and help, they take Dr.Twitters diagnosis and run with it and it can be so harmful.

    I do think social media has done wonders for the mental health community, it’s given people a voice and a platform, it’s helped so many people who would have suffered alone connect with others across the globe and that’s amazing, but at the same time, like with anything online, it risks causing some serious harm too. It’s such a fine line.

    Sarah
    Saloca in Wonderland

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