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
SHARE:

8 comments

  1. Although I don't suffer from mental health problems I follow many mental Heath bloggers. I think it is a diverse community and what I love about it is that it's just a community with no hierarchy.

    Meg
    Www.meowameg.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey there...
    Great post!
    I think some people may think that all this mental health malarkey is just 'fashionable'. Believe me I don't think that! I also think that those who are negative about it have not usually suffered from anything and therefore are speaking from a place of ignorance. Ignore it but well done for speaking out!

    I think blogging about mental health serves many purposes, not just to support those suffering from mental illness but to also serve as general well-being reading for those who do not suffer from anything. I certainly try to approach my blog with a general well-being approach but it's important to have a mix of writing like you say. As the world is diverse, so is mental illness and well-being.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, my love. You always write so beautifully!

    Lots of love from Mollie xxx | http://wwwtheperksofmolliequirk.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. People definitely treat depression and anxiety like it's too mainstream these days, and it's so sad. They say things like "oh, everyone says they have depression". Well, when you look at the numbers, a large portion of the population DO have it, so it's not surprising that you've met a lot of people who struggle with it, but that doesn't make anyone's experience with it any less real - and you're right, people can't write what they don't know. Keep up the good work! :)

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely post and great comments too.
    Great job on speaking up about mental health.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful of you to raise awareness and show how much everyone counts, no matter what they are struggling with. Sadly lots of people do suffer with anixety and depression these days. Such is the world we live in which is challenging emotionally and mentally. Yet everyones experiences are different, anxiety etc is personal to the individual and how their mind functions. Everyone's voice matters and an encouraging community is essential to help people feel accepted and no longer alone. It's lovely that you're a light amongst the other MH bloggers bringing people together and sharing your stories. Very best wishes xx

    Keep Calm and start writing -
    www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is all so true. I think mental health blogging is great, no matter what form it's in. When I was suffering from depression just over a year ago, blogging about how I was feeling really helped me. I think anything that encourages people to talk about stuff and share their experiences is really valuable. One of the defining factors of quite a few mental health issues is feeling alone and blogging helps us combat that. Reading other people's stories and sharing your own can really really help.
    Naomi Katharine xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. When people say that those with anxiety disorders and depression are over represented in this community, they aren't having a bash at those who do a wonderful job, it is a fact. They are just making a point that for one reason or another, there are comparatively few popular MH bloggers who are BME and not female or middle class. OCD and phobias come under the anxiety disorders umbrella, whilst all MH problems, and sufferers of them, are stigmatised- the stigma for different diagnoses is different. Whilst depressed people may be accused of being weak, say, people with Schizophrenia might be accused of being a danger to society. I know that in my situation, I feel way more within my comfort zone talking about OCD than I do about my personality disorder as in real life, this label is met with more contempt. It is simplistic to say that the only reason why there are more anxious/ depressed voices than schizophrenic ones is because these disorders are more prevalent. If it were simply to do with prevalence, there would be equally as many white as BME bloggers as mental illnesses effect all ethnicities.

    I am certainly not saying that the streets are lined with gold for white lady bloggers with depression- quite the opposite, depression is rough, rough illness. All I am saying is that it would be so awesome for bloggers not to get defensive about the (in)diversity in the community- nobody is blaming anyone. There just needs to be a call to arms to help elevate the voices of marginalised groups and make this a safe platform for everyone to speak (if they want to).

    I love your blog, always aesthetic and inspiring

    ReplyDelete

Blogger Template Created by pipdig