As many of you will know, discovering the Twitter Mental Health community has been really important to me for a variety of reasons.
However, there are both pros and cons to it.
When you’re feeling low, there is always someone around to offer support, whether you need to talk about your problems, or if you just want to chat about something random to take your mind off it.
One thing you will always find in the MH community is encouragement. Whatever your hopes and dreams, whatever your goals are for the year, month, or even just your day, there is an unending supply of encouragement from the members. They let you know that they believe in you and give you that boost to achieve your goals.
The MH community are fiercely loyal and there is a real sense of belonging. There are people from all walks of life and you don’t have to change who you are in order to “fit in”.
As I said before, you don’t have to change yourself to fit in with the MH community, and this is very liberating when it comes to self-expression. You don’t have to filter your thoughts and it’s a chance to be really honest and open about what you’re feeling and thinking.
Validation is so important to our mental health (when I say our, I mean literally everyone, everyone needs validation), and you can find this in the MH community on Twitter. It’s pretty much guaranteed that whatever you say, you will find at least one other person who thinks or has thought the same, and if not, you will definitely find someone who can empathise. Having our feelings validated can be so beneficial in helping us deal with our emotions. Knowing that we’re understood and heard is so important.
Engaging with the MH community on Twitter is not only useful for us, but it also gives us the opportunity to give back and help others. We can be that listening ear that someone needs, or that confidence boost, or validating support. This not only helps that person but is also great for our own feelings of self-worth and value.
Friendship and fun
Aside from being a useful tool, the Twitter MH community is also a place to make real friendships and have a few laughs along the way. There are so many wonderfully friendly people with whom you can chat and joke – a great way to socialise and combat feelings of isolation.
Although many people are good at putting trigger warnings on potentially triggering tweets, not everyone is, so there is always the risk of seeing something that could be triggering to you, particularly because a lot of the conversation is about mental health and mental illness.
Unfortunately, sometimes trolls find their way into the MH community on Twitter, and they spend their time mocking or antagonising vulnerable people online. This isn’t just a Twitter problem, but there are a significant number of trolls that seem to target the MH community.
Opening yourself up online is always a risk and it can make you feel very vulnerable. Your words are subject to criticism and this criticism can be damaging to someone who is feeling vulnerable.
When you make a good friend in the Twitter MH community, you may find that they live on the other side of the world. This can be quite frustrating as it is unlikely that you will be able to meet up regularly, if at all.
I personally think that it is important to consider all of the pros and cons before engaging with the Twitter MH community, but as I’ve said before, overall I find it an excellent resource. I’ve made some really great friends in the community, and even if I have encountered trolling, I’ve had people who have had my back and supported me through it.
What are your thoughts on the Twitter MH community? Do you take part? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments.