Friday 3 March 2017

Let's Talk About The Mental Health Blogging Community

Let's Talk About The Mental Health Blogging Community mental health illness bipolar mind time to change blogging bloggers depression anxiety OCD support advice

Guess what I'm a mental health blogger, and I don't just blog about anxiety and depression? I blog about my experiences with OCD, eating problems, phobias and about mental illness in general. I know shock! Because apparently according to some that's all the mental health blogging community is about; anxiety and depression. 

Many bloggers in the mental health community do just blog about depression and anxiety. That's because that is all they have had experience of but they want to share their stories to inspire, raise awareness and support others. What's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! Nothing at all! 

Statistically if you think about it, it's going to be more common to see bloggers blog about depression and anxiety, than say bipolar or borderline personality disorder as globally 350 million people suffer from depression and 8.2 million cases of anxiety reported in the U.K. In 2013 (which is obviously likely to have risen since then) compared to 4 million cases of bipolar reported in the same year in the U.K. Obviously this is still a very high number but the likelihood of finding people who have anxiety and depression and have a blog as well are significantly higher. 

You might call for more diversity in the mental health blogging community, but I think you need to look at it more realistically. I can't blog about things if I've had no experience of them. I can't blog about schizophrenia if I've never experienced it. It's not like feminism, lipsticks, clothes, notebooks or human rights which we can all write about to some degree. Mental health is a very personal and subjective topic. Not everyone battles with mental illness ( thank god for that!) 

Claiming that the mental health community is just full of depression and anxiety bloggers, shits on the people who do just blog about anxiety and depression. Like I'm sorry, is their pain, struggle and suffering, not diverse enough? Is their debilitating illness too common? Too mainstream now to talk about it? Why should we only care about the people who have the less common mental illnesses? There is no one mental illness that is better than another. To think that way is sick and twisted. 

I don't care if you think the mental health blogging community is oversaturated with anxiety and depression sufferers. There's no hierarchy in the mental health blogging community. Mental illness is mental illness. I couldn't care less about what mental illness someone suffers from. Labels don't mean anything to me. What I care about is supporting that person whatever their struggle may be. When you suffer from a mental illness, whether that be common or not, you can relate to everyone else who has a mental illness on so many levels, even if the illnesses themselves are poles apart.

Obviously to some extent I do care about what mental illnesses people suffer from. I want to be able to educate myself, educate others and make sure I know if there are certain things I should or should not do to help support the person. But apart from that, their label means nothing. It's just a way as a society we have come up with to organise people into groups, to function better. But really that's all it is. If I meet someone else with a mental illness, we can automatically relate on the stigma we face, the support available, self-care tips, recovery, etc. The list is endless. These factors are not limited by a label.

Let's Talk About The Mental Health Blogging Community mind time to change blogging mental health illness disorder OCD depression anxiety bipolar help support advice

Furthermore, not only does saying that the mental health blogging community is just made up of bloggers who talk about anxiety and depression, shit on those who do but it also shits on those who don't. I don't talk about just depression and anxiety. You guys know I talk about my OCD, my eating difficulties I've had in the past, my emetophobia and more recently my hoarding. I don't do this to be different or diverse. I do it because that's what I really suffer from in REAL life. I don't blog about mental health for the clicks. I do it because I want to fill in the gap that the education systems fail to fill in. I want to talk and educate people about the reality of mental illness and provide support for those who also battle with their head every single day. 

It's so important to talk about mental health, whether that's depression or a seriously rare phobia. Talking is key. Education is key. Everyone has a story, and everyone can share that. I know people who have bipolar and personality disorders and individuals who have anxiety and depression. It's important to talk about mental health full stop. Discouraging people from blogging about anxiety and depression because it's too common is wrong, so wrong.

I'm sorry If I've come across angry or annoyed in this post, it's just a subject I'm passionate about. I will always stand by the mental health blogging community when people criticise it. 

Here are some a few fabulous bloggers who talk about everything from OCD to depression and bipolar to BPD (and so much more...):

And this is just a small selection there are so many other fabulous bloggers out there in the mental health community who deserve love and support. 

I would love to hear your opinions on this subject in the comments below. Is their a hierarchy in the mental health blogging community? Is it not a diverse enough place? Let me know below! 

Thanks for reading, as always X
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