Social media is good for more than just connecting with other OCDers and sharing similar experiences with each other.
It’s also good for some practical tips for dealing with anxiety, OCD and related disorders, too.
For example, this post about hydrocolloid adhesive plasters has been circulating Tumblr for a few months now. For those of us who pick at our skin, they help the injuries heal faster and essentially block you from picking that specific spot — or so the original poster says, anyway. I have yet to try them, but I’ve been picking again, so I plan to pick up a box next time I’m out and about to give it a shot.
Example 2: Blogs like this one put the call out on the various mental illness tags for tips on dealing with anxiety or other illnesses, then collect all of the advice into one master post that can be reblogged and shared easily. Others simply collect a bunch links to useful posts they’ve seen on the tags.
The advice ranges from general encouragement for getting through the day to dealing with specific situations, like anxiety before a flight or in social situations.
It’s not just Tumblr, of course. Facebook has a ton of groups — including the PsychCentral.com page, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/OCD Awareness, and local and closed groups — where members can join and trade information.
I spent a good part of my last post about this subject talking about how people use the tags (I don’t spend much time on Twitter, but on Tumblr check out the #actuallyocd tag) to share their experiences. Social media can definitely play a role as an online support network and a place to make connections with other OCDers.
I wanted to revisit the topic of social media because there are a lot of really practical ways to use social media, too. We can use social media to chat with one another, and if we never use it for anything else, that’s fine.
But we can also use it to trade more practical information with one another, whether that’s specific advice or product reviews.
Dealing with OCD or any other mental illness requires us to build a collection of tools for coping. That includes the strategies we learn in therapy or support groups, and it can include medication for some of us. But it can also include tools we can share with one another.
I’ve learned a lot from the connections I’ve made to other OCDers in real life and online. I don’t use those tools as often as the ones I learned in therapy — but I do use them, and they make my life a little easier. Hopefully, they’ll do the trick for all of you, too.