What’s the value of mental health blogging? I stumbled upon this post on The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, where Seaneen discusses the role that blogging has played in her struggle with bipolar disorder. At the end of the post she poses a question:
What are your views on mental health blogging? If you have a blog, why did you start writing it?
I wrote this in her comments (in case it sounds familiar), but I think that mental health blogging is valuable for several reasons:
- It can provide a healthy outlet for dealing with feelings surrounding your own struggles with mental illness.
- It’s comforting to know that “you’re not alone”–there are other people out there struggling with the same things as you. Often another person can articulate something that you’ve been trying to explain/identify/put your finger on for a long time.
- Community support and wisdom. There is a lot of collective and experience within the mental health blogging community.
- It provides a unique inside look at otherwise poorly understood mental illnesses. How many people really understand how you view/experience the world with a disorder? How does the media affect you? What do you think about current research? What has/hasn’t been helpful for you treatment-wise? There is so much information that only someone who has struggled with mental illness can provide.
- You can challenge others… challenge them in their recovery, or to look at something from another perspective, or to break through their denial about a problem. Mental health blogs make you think and examine your own reactions
Why did I start Grey Thinking? Well, for all of the reasons above–plus a couple more:
- I have a lot of opinions on new research, eating disorders in the media, approaches to treatment, etc. My friends were getting tired of listening to my philosophical views of “what is wrong with the DSM-IV,” etc.
- I have a psychology degree, an eating disorder history, an endless interest in mental health, and web design experience. I felt that this was a good way to combine my personal struggles, knowledge, and interests.
- Not that I am objective, but I think that having dealt with an eating disorder I have a different perspective of eating disorders in the media, treatment approaches, popular theory, etc.
- There are not enough mental health blogs out there