One of the most essential things we can do to reduce the stigma around mental health is to talk about it. But when discussing mental health publicly, such as on social media or in a blog post, how you discuss it can either be helpful or hurtful to your audience. This distinction is never more crucial than when discussing suicide.
Human beings are inherently social creatures. As far back as we can trace, humans have traveled, hunted, and thrived in social groups and for good reason. Humans who were separated from their tribe often suffered severe consequences. Social groups provide us with an important part of our identity, and more than that, they teach us a set of skills that help us to live our lives. Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world, is more important than ever. The benefits of social connectedness shouldn’t be overlooked.
Each day you have tens, if not hundreds of social interactions. Whether you’re walking by someone on the sidewalk, ordering a coffee, calling about a utility bill, or talking with a coworker, these interactions have a huge impact on your day and your well-being. If you’re one of the seven percent of people living with social anxiety (social phobia), these interactions can make daily life extremely taxing.
Let’s face it. Getting into a healthy routine of exercising and staying active isn’t easy. If it were, you’d never find an open treadmill at your gym. Everyone would be there. It’s so much easier to go home, drop on your couch, and try to forget the day. But when you have a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, the easy way out isn’t always the better choice.
When you’re faced with overwhelming sadness or anxiety so all-encompassing that it’s impossible to do simple, everyday activities, reaching out and talking with someone about it can help. Giving a voice to your feelings can be cathartic, and it can help you to feel less alone. It’s important though, to think beforehand about who you want to open up to. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of characteristics that make someone an ideal support.
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. We use it to share photos and funny stories, talk about our political viewpoints and catch up with friends. It can also be a place where we feel comfortable talking about our struggles or our pain. It may be easier to write about how we feel behind a screen than sharing it with someone in person. When we’re struggling, we may isolate ourselves and social media becomes one of our only connections to others.