One event that we didn’t comment on during the height of the initial Pandemic lockdown last spring was the fact that the annual BBC Children in Need (CiN) Telethon shifted from November back to 23rd April to join forces with … Read More
I don’t know anyone that isn’t more irritable now than they were a year ago, but do we know why? And what do we do about it? This seems like a fairly accurate picture of our current situation: “In fact, … Read More
I think the entire list of seven things provided by Mental Health First Aid below, is good, but this one, in particular, is something I think we all need to keep in mind:
“Do not be hostile or sarcastic when the person attempts to be responsive, but instead accept their responses as the best the person has to offer at that time.”
I think it’s fair to say that right now, most of us are dealing with some challenges. If ever there was a time to accept that replying to your text, or responding to a question you have might not be the foremost thing on someone’s mind, it’s now.
Between dealing with kids going back to school, and whatever that looks like, protests and violence, constant pandemic concerns around illness or loss of loved ones, and massive employment insecurity, there’s a lot going on that we are all trying to deal with as best as we can. I’d argue that we are all dealing with some pretty huge mental health challenges right now, so if you have people trying to stay in contact with you, to check in, or support you, give them a little grace. The fact that they are even trying right now should say a lot, and I hope we can all appreciate the imperfect efforts anyone puts in.
I think that second quote is really the key. We’ve seen studies that are reported as showing that kids who use social media get more depression and anxiety, but those studies do not address the question of whether there’s any proof that the causality is in that direction and not the other. In other words, do teens who use social media a lot develop depression, or do depressed teens use social media more. This study seems to indicate it’s the latter. As we continue with a lot of social distancing, and activities being canceled and in person gatherings are very limited, we know everyone will be relying more on social media to stay connected, so this is an important question, and I think what this study, and others, really shows us is that there are ways to use social media as a positive influence on our mental health, and a way to use it that will not be a positive influence on our mental health.
In the physical world, we have these same choices. Do we interact with people who are toxic? Do we spend all of our time comparing ourselves to others? Do we isolate? Or do we find out tribe, our group of supportive friends/family that can interact socially in ways that help our mental health?
We all make those same choices on social media, but the key difference here is that if we simply don’t choose, and make no effort to make conscious decisions about who we follow and interact with, social network algorithms will make the decision for us. Anyone already struggling with mental health is maybe more likely to not spent much time thinking about these things, and just let the app show them what it wants to show them, and that is not necessarily going to be good for our anxiety. Especially right now.
So, if you find yourself feeling more anxious, angry, irritated, etc. every time you hop on Twitter or Instagram, maybe instead of just being that way, spend some time thinking about who you follow, and what they are bringing in to your life?
For any of my social media using readers, can you share some of your favorite positive accounts that you interact with to HELP your mental health?
10 Simple Ways to Love Yourself a Little More Each Day
Can Childhood Trauma Make the Body and Brain Age Faster?
6 Ways to Survive Survivor Guilt |
Mental Health in the Digital Realm
Childhood Trauma: Types, Causes, Signs, and Treatments
Self-Care Sounds Simple, So Why Is It So Hard to Practice?
Study Confirms Asking Directly About Suicide Doesn’t Cause More Harm
What People Want to Hear When They’re Struggling
Stopping the Cycle of Trauma: Parents Need Help for Trauma Too
Mental health website for people with intellectual disability created with help of those with lived experience – ABC News
– Good, it’s not often that we think about how our sites work for those with disabilities, I’m glad there are folks working to be more inclusive.
How to Ask if Everything Is OK When It’s Clearly Not
4 Reasons Taking Things Personally Prevents Healing