Does Seeing Mental Illness Stories Online Annoy You?
In today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever for people to share their mental illness stories online. Whether it’s sharing a struggle, a small victory, a big triumph, or a plea for help, stories about mental illness are aplenty. While many call those who share their mental illness stories brave and strong, there are also those who tear them down, saying they should keep the information to themselves--and offline. If sharing mental illness stories annoys you, read on.
Why We Share Our Mental Illness Stories Online
There’s this idea that people only share things to garner attention, especially when said things are controversial or outside the norm of what most people share. Stories of mental illness tend to fall into the latter category, and some people balk at the idea. They say there’s no other reason to share but to try to get pity or virtual pats on the back, but that’s just not the case and, quite frankly, quite stigmatizing because it invalidates people and discourages them from reaching out (Mental Health Stigma's Effect on Our Personal Stories).
As someone who does share her personal stories of mental illness online, I will say having a pity party is not my goal, nor is getting a virtual pat on the. I’m not looking to be called brave, and, honestly, would rather that you didn’t say I was. My goal with sharing my stories is so others can know they aren’t alone.
I thought I was alone with my struggles for most of my life because I was too scared and ashamed to talk about them in person. I had been made to feel bad about my struggles and that I just wasn’t trying hard enough to not be mentally ill, so, eventually, I turned to the Internet. There, I found others who could relate to picking their skin, feeling suicidal, or drowning in their anxiety of failure. There I understood that I wasn’t the only one in the world who suffered as I did.
My goal is for my story to be that for someone else. I’m not looking for recognition or for them to even message me; I just put my words out there in the event that someone might see them and be given hope because hope is the crux of everything when it comes to mental health.
Mental Illness Stories of Getting Through Create Hope
When in the depths of suffering with my disorders, I didn’t feel any sort of hope. There was no “better” or light at the end of the tunnel. There almost wasn’t a tomorrow in many cases.
But because some other people took a chance of shouting into the abyss that is the Internet, I learned I wasn’t the only one who struggled as I did. It began to chip away at the absolute damnation I felt and I began to see that despite my depression, anxiety, and excoriation disorder I could be an active participant in life, and be happy while doing it.
It’s important that we share our mental illness stories so that we might be able to facilitate this hope for someone else. Does everyone share their story for the same reasons I do? Probably not. Some of them might be just screaming out to see if anyone will answer and show them they aren’t alone. That’s not a bad thing and at most the only negative impact on anyone’s lives is they get annoyed by seeing it shared over social media if it goes viral. And ultimately, that’s your problem if that’s the case.
Barton, L. (2017, July 24). Does Seeing Mental Illness Stories Online Annoy You?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2017/07/stigma-and-sharing-about-mental-health-online
Author: Laura Barton
Through all of that I was totally alone. My dog is my only companion and reason I'm still here today. I'm positive if not for her I'd have found a way out. My now ex poisoned my only child, a grown daughter from my first marriage out of high school. She was my rock and best friend. We were as close as a mother daughter could be. She's not spoken to me in 5 years, and I've not seen my three gorgeous granddaughters in 5 years. I was so proud of the relationship we had and almost overnight I was hated for reasons I'm not sure of to this day. She's never asked and I've never been given a chance to speak my truths. My own mother and I are not close. She's never been a mother in any sense of the word unless you ask her. She's also a very controlling person who's told me numerous times I've chosen depression over her and my family. I stopped contact with her at the urging of a counselor. A great counselor. My mother told me I was a disappointment, an embarrassment, a failure, and blamed me for the failure of my marriage. She knew nothing about why ,but said I couldn't keep a man. A man she disliked the first time she met him over 20 years ago. We lost our home to foreclosure that I had owned prior to meeting him. She blames me for that and asked why it wasn't paid off years before and what was I doing with my money earned from the jobs I'd always had. She never once asked me how I was. NOT ONE TIME. EVER. I felt I had no choice but to stop contact while also going through an unheard of insane divorce that I'm also blamed for dragging out as told by my ex to everyone he has gotten to listen. He moved with his girlfriend to within a mile of my daughter. My daughter believes she has a relationship with him that has nothing to do with me I was told. It has everything to do with me. Positive of that, too. Threatened me for years that if we ever split up he'd move as close as possible to make my life a living hell. He did that during the end of our marriage and continues to today. He's done it because he knows how weak I was with depression. He knew I'd felt suicidal at times. He's partially responsible for that. Very much responsibile in fact. He's in contempt of court since the month after our divorce was finalized. Refuses to pay the little but I was awarded monthly. I'm afraid of him. Have no money for legal fees and free legal aid is a joke. I will never step inside a room or courtroom with that man ever again without a very capable attorney,, & that's not likely to happen as I struggle daily just to keep my head above water financially. It's exhausting. I've lost everyone that I held close to me that believed in me
My daughter and 3 innocent young granddaughters who loved their grandma, but have likely forgotten about me or have been told Lord knows what.
My depression and anxiety is paralyzing right now.
It's a beautiful Friday here today,, and going into another weekend that I dread more than the other days. The few people I do talk to have families and full lives. Plans they've made with me lately seem to always get canceled or I don't hear from them at all like last Sunday. The first time in forever I was looking forward to seeing a friend and getting out. Then nothing. No text. No call. No return call after I called to make sure things were ok. No reply. Nothing. They know how loneliness is taking more of me each and every day, (if they've heard me at all). I'm broken hearted and devastated to this day over my daughter and granddaughters. It doesn't get easier. It doesn't get better. It never goes away. There's not a day or night I don't cry over it. Depression was a struggle since 2006, but this, this is so much more on top of that. It's been called Complicated Grief. Grieving fot someone who's still alive. That's exactly what I've been doing along with all the usual anxiety, (agoraphobia often), the symptoms of C-PTSD are triggered by so many everyday things that I'm always on edge and hyper vigilant. I'm afraid. I see a counselor but it's not enough. I take meds, but they can't fix this heart break. It's a bandaid is what it is.
I ache for someone to just talk to and see that when I am around people most times that I'm comfortable with, I'm funny and so personable, charming and even stunning, I've been told. I used to be those things but it's only very temporary and not often enough to remember the woman I used to believe I was. The one before a huge defining and turning point in my life that I'll never forget, and one that nobody other than my narcissistic ex spouse is no doubt smiling about still.
I want my life back. I want the family that I loved back. My mother not so much. I've tried with her for over a dozen years to explain depression to her with no results. How do you begin to talk about all of this on top of that, that's turned your life upside down and inside out, and know that the people who should care about you don't?? I can't get over the loss of my daughter. I can't live aside of all that pain, as my counselor says I need to try. He doesn't believe in saying "let it go", thank goodness because I'll never let it go. It's right here with me every moment of the day and night.
I'd love to hear from someone. Anyone. Not for anything but just to be friends.
I didn't mean to go on this long, I swear, it just kept coming along with the pain, and I guess I need to be heard, and validated somehow. I'm a good person. A caring and loving person, regardless of what others may think. They don't know me any longer it appears. And I'm afraid they will never try again.
Thank you to anyone who read this. I know how lengthy it is and apologize for that. I didn't know how to shorten or say it any other way than I just have.
Thank you again. I love the Healthy Place. There's something here for everyone and that's fabulous.