Twitter has become a recent obsession for me, in large part due to the greater opportunities I have experienced in meeting a more diverse range of people. A number of these use the platform to express their struggles with mental illness while others express that they are mental health advocates. The majority seem to have good results in interactions with their followers, but no social engagement is completely free from drama. I have seen incredibly negative behavior from twitter users claiming to be advocates who have made vile attacks on others while some are hostile to ideas they do not support. Granted, this is minor compared to the more positive atmosphere, but it exists. I have begun to block or mute any who engage in this strife, seeing no merit in arguing. But what dies this behavior mean for advocacy?
Stigma regarding mental illness remains strong and a cooperative environment is needed to normalize afflictions affecting millions. Attitudes persist in dismissing this issue as false, inflated, a sign of weakness, and a multitude of other claims that are hurdles to be crossed. Without a broader acceptance of the reality, there will continue to be people that will suffer in silence to avoid judgement.
I have for years worked to be available for support by being vocal regarding my own mental health issues. Lately, though, I have pulled back to reserve more energy in looking after myself. I am physically and mentally exhausted and have to focus on my own well-being. Thus leaves me feeling guilty to not be more available to help those I interact with. Hopefully that will change soon.
Thank you for stopping by and look after yourselves, okay?