I have found so many benefits of social media on my mental health, especially when it comes to dealing with my Bipolar Disorder and my physical illnesses. For me, Twitter in particular has been fantastic for meeting others who understand my experiences with mental illness and chronic illness.
It can be tough to find others in your everyday life who truly understand what you are going through when it comes to a mental health diagnosis or in my case, a physical one also. As much as I have a fantastic support system, none of those people actually experience my symptoms or what I go through on a daily basis. The same goes for professional help, even the best therapist or psychiatrist that I have seen hasn’t actually experienced Bipolar Disorder, nor have the specialists I’ve seen for my chronic conditions actually experienced them themselves.
I have found people on Twitter who are going through the same things and therefore can fully understand where I am coming from; this understanding is so invaluable to me. Just being able to talk to others who share the same struggles can be so reassuring and can make it easier to talk to them when I need a listening ear.
It’s easy to isolate yourself when you are struggling mentally, not wanting to be with other people or to engage socially, shutting yourself away from the world. At times it can feel so lonely because even though you know logically otherwise, you can feel as though no one else is going through what you are. Often times I don’t feel like communicating with others or explaining what I’m feeling because it seems too tough to do so, or because I just feel too exhausted to voice it, or at times because I feel it won’t help or they won’t understand.
Having my safe space online where I can vent and know that those people who get it won’t pressure me to talk more than I need is fantastic. Being able to type what I’m feeling without having to actually have a conversation can be much easier. Having these online connections can stop me from feeling so isolated.
Sense of community
I have built up a community of people on Twitter that I genuinely feel close to and feel that if I went online and needed to talk to someone, there would be someone who would be there and who would understand. There is a community there that you can get involved in, people who really care and will connect with you.
I have been able to connect with people all over the world, I am able to learn from their experiences. We have a platform to share our lives and help one another, to be there for each other when we need support, to get advice and give advice from experience.
The people that I have met through social media are truly wonderful friends. They are just as valuable to me as any person in ‘real life’, and knowing that I have such a great group of friends on my side feels great. There are so many people in my little Twitter universe that are so genuinely kind, caring and compassionate, and they are truly invaluable to me.
This blog post is dedicated to Jess, my slothy best Twitter friend. You are wonderful, keep fighting you beautiful warrior.