As a veteran mental health struggler and advocate, I am thrilled to see people taking their mental health seriously. Seems many are beginning to take hold of their mental health and finding what works for them to maintain it well. It warms my heart, actually.
I can feel the world shifting toward support for mental health; in TV shows, commercials, conversations in the open, and through the many of you incredible people who have reached out to me & DOUBLESOLID to share your story, offer support, or to simply say "yep, me too."
With my delight in seeing mental health in the headlines, I can't ignore this bubbling concern in my belly. Just as we have seen through the pandemic, the rise in attention to any subject matter comes a rise in misinformation. So much misinformation.
Maintaining mental health is difficult enough for some of us; trying to navigate through information and misinformation does not make helping ourselves any easier. Not only is it a hindrance, but it can also lend it's hand to tragedy.
Mental health is a priority, yes. But just like everything else that is a priority, we must be sure to address with care & how best for us personally.
For some it's therapy. For some it's medication. For others it's meditation. Or maybe it's feeling better about what works in our lives and what doesn't. Maybe it's not working on the weekends. Maybe it's more family time. Maybe it's less family time. Maybe it's setting healthy boundaries.
I have seen too many memes, Tic Toks, posts that are irresponsible in nature stating all sorts of wild "facts" about mental health and mental illness.
No one meme knows everything. And it surely does not know you.
My plea to you.
As one who has struggled for years to find the balance I needed to maintain my own mental health, I want you to question everything. Even what I write- do your own research. Make up your own mind about what you need and what you don't. Only you know what helps you just as I know what helps me. And I share what helps me to hopefully help you. And hopefully, you'll share with us what helps you to help others. See? It's that easy!
Just like we used to say "you can't believe everything you see on TV", you can't believe everything you see on the internet.
Recently I read a meme stating "if you are experiencing" xyz, "then you are being abused".
Whoa. Hold the phone.
Almost simultaneously I was told my feelings and my worth mean nothing when a loved one demanded I do and don't do what they wanted to their expectation or I lose out on being a part of their lives. "This boundary is not up for debate" is not how you go about setting a healthy boundary. Nor is a boundary a disguise for a demand. "An insistent and peremptory request, made as if by right" is not a healthy boundary.
These two instances forced me to pay more attention to some of the nonsense that's floating around out there. And there's quite a bit. I think people are throwing terms around without fully understanding them. Don't even get me started on the misconceptions of Triggers. But I digress.
So, how do we shut down all of the noise when our minds are loud themselves?
By being true to YOU. If you are concerned about your mental health please contact a professional. No one can diagnose you; not your mom, not your dad, not your co-worker, not your daughter-in-law, not the office gossiper, and surely, surely not internet memes.
Before you make any big changes in your life please consult with your provider; this could be someone in the mental health field or even your primary. If you don't have either, there are many resources to help you find professional support.
Understanding much of the world is seeking mental health support right now and those in the mental health field can't keep up with the demand; we have to get creative in the interim.
NAMI, our chosen recipient of donation this year has many resources you can find on their website (link below).
Do your own research in addition to seeking medical care, check out online resources, talk to your loved ones, join a support group, do whatever you can to better YOUR life, and never, ever take the word of anyone other than a professional when it comes to YOUR mental health.
Just because someone has a degree in Psychology or works in the field or has a keyboard or even seems to know everything about mental health....doesn't mean they understand YOUR mental health. Only you and your trusted providers know what you have experienced in your life, how you feel, or what you think.
Your mental health is for you to explore, nourish, heal and experience. It is not for anyone other than your trusted providers to diagnose and treat you. Not a friend, not a relative, and most definitely not a meme.
Our resource page (have one to add? Please message us!)
Blog post in regard to personal boundaries