Mental Health On Social Media
The mental health movement online has gained many spectators over the past couple of years with its popularity exponentially growing during the peak pandemic season when everyone was locked inside their homes, having to face their issues head-on. The rise of this movement can be attributed to the overall growth of social media usage and the willingness of people to finally sit down and come to terms with their physical and mental stability. Suddenly, there was a whirlwind of posts, links, resources, and infographics about the dangers of not speaking up about your mental health, and feeds were flooded with all the tips and tricks of how to easily beat their depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, there was little room for what was going on behind the scenes: people’s fortitude and hope were diminishing quickly and no supplement gummy or mantra was going to be a quick fix for their problems.
Why Emphasizing Real World Experiences Matters
Social media has done an excellent job of making sure that people’s attention was not on one thing for too long; as more content started arising from the mental health movement it became increasingly difficult to filter through the resources that provided tangible and honest results. While these conversations about mental health on social media are important, there is a level of transparency that is missing from the “tips and tricks” posts. To have a genuine conversation about mental health, you have to be authentic in your experience with dealing with the obstacles that your body and mind are going through. When you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable and open about what depression and anxiety look like to you on an everyday basis then you begin to paint a picture of a false reality that others will ultimately look to for their guidance.
What Can You Do?
Transparency and authenticity around the conversation of mental health have to be the priority when beginning this journey of posting online. Because there are so many influencers, companies, and algorithms that are out to gain their profits the information surrounding the mental health movement can easily become skewed. As an observer and participant of the mental health movement, you can choose to make the change and be a representative of unfeigned guidance. Taking the first step of healing means deciding to be honest with yourself about your mental and physical health so that you can provide true and tried examples to others. More than likely there is someone else in the world that is feeling and experiencing similar things to you, but if you choose to sugarcoat and gloss over your true-to-life experiences then they will only be receiving a glimmer of the help they may need. Being the person to take the first step towards authenticity can feel alienating and frightening – especially when you have a group of people who only choose to push positivity rather than reality – but when you choose to be who you are you are showing others that no shame or fear should be associated with being honest about expressing themselves.
The mental health movement is more than just a hashtag or online phenomenon. It is a real, working machine that you as an individual have to choose to participate in every day. Whether you are online or off, making your mental health a priority and being honest with yourself about your current state is a crucial step to ensuring that the healing you are choosing to do now will last forever. At Amy Robbins Therapy we want to help you move your mental health from the online world to your everyday life by providing you with resources and tools to help you through depressive episodes or anxiety attacks. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are struggling with taking action in your mental health journey!
Amy Robbins LPC