Is Talking About Mental Illness Online a Good Idea?
The stigma around mental illness had always meant that for most people, it was a topic of no discussion. No one discussed the implications, the pain, the side effects or even the treatments they sometimes needed to undergo. However, with the rise of social media, the way people communicate has drastically changed, and there are many now that not only talk about their mental illnesses online, but also seek help through the Internet.
Yet this prompts the question: is it a good idea to do this?
As a mental health advocate, I have been very open about my issues with depression and addiction, and not only have I been able to help others with similar issues, I have received plenty of help as well. It is always a good idea to seek support from others that know what you are experiencing, and that can maybe shed light on ways that they have found treatment and have felt better. In this aspect the support that you often find online can be very helpful, especially if it makes you feel less alone.
However, the danger lies in taking the advice of others that may not be medical professionals and ignoring the advice from your doctors. I see many people online asking about certain medications, or certain symptoms that could be serious, yet they prefer the answers of their peers that their actual physicians. This could be very dangerous. I think its ok to listen to what others have to see and what they have gone through, but at the end of the day a doctor should always be reached out to, because our bodies are different and the ways that we react to certain pharmaceutical will also be different, and sometimes dangerous.
In conclusion, Social Media can be a place of encouragement and support for those with mental illness, but when it comes to medical advice, see your doctor.