Updated: May 12, 2022
Social media, which once emerged as a way to digitally connect with loved ones and strangers alike, has soon become an irrefutable part of all our lives. We spend most of our time trapped in the clutches of the endless scroll, eagerly refreshing our feeds for constant updates. The dangers it possesses has now been discussed far and wide, and on most days, its toxic edges are all that we can see.
But underneath the string of mentally exhaustive content lies a deeper layer that often goes unnoticed by many. There are innumerous pages dedicated to mental well being and awareness run with the help of professionals in the field that go under the radar. The onset of the pandemic led to a lot of us discovering these blogs and pages and perhaps for the very first time, learning about the various aspects that come under the umbrella term - Mental Health.
The immense stigma that still persists regarding mental illnesses and therapy in our society is a major factor that drives us to learn more via the help of such pages. The idea that we aren’t the only people who feel this way, and that it is completely normal to not be 'okay' at all times is comforting to know. Most pages present serious issues in a condensed, easy-to-understand format that help us gather a lot of information without being too overwhelmed. These pages often help us learn, unlearn and relearn the several notions and misconceptions that we’ve had regarding our mental health. For many of us, these pages are the stepping stones to unlocking ideas regarding mental wellbeing.
It isn’t just the blogs that solely contribute towards mental health awareness that lead to people educating themselves. Oftentimes, discourses on mental health can come from unlikely places. The various fandoms that have sprung across social media platforms have contributed to discussions on mental well being. These groups, which act as a safe space for the fans of creators and artists, often help in decoding the mental health aspect of the creations that they admire.
I found myself turning to a lot of pages dedicated to mental well being during the pandemic. It helped me reconsider my preconceived notions regarding therapy and mental illnesses. I’d once believed that admitting mental exhaustion was a sign of weakness and that therapy was the very last resort. These pages and the subsequent discussions with friends on several social media platforms helped me realise my folly. Therapy is but a way to help us take care of ourselves.
There simply isn’t a “right way” to gain awareness and educate oneself regarding Mental Health.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while attempting to gain information from these platforms.
1. It might help to do a rough background check. It is extremely important to ensure that the information is verified and provided by professionals. Be wary of the pages that promote false information.
2. Do not self-diagnose. While it may be helpful to learn and recognise the symptoms that hinder your mental well being, try your best not to self-diagnose. Do not hesitate to reach out to a professional if you wish to.
3. Put yourself first, always. Sometimes the vast amount of information regarding mental health and illnesses can seem overwhelming or frightening. Remind yourself that you needn’t engage with anything online that leaves you exhausted. While educating oneself is important, remember,it shouldn’t occur at the expense of your mental well being.
Written By - Parvathy R Sekhar
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