Social Media and Mental Health
#loveyourself – 44.4M posts
#depression – 19.6M posts
#selfcare – 18.9M posts
#mentalhealth – 12.6M posts
#anxiety – 12.3M posts
#mentalhealthawareness - 5.4M posts
#strongertogether – 1.8M posts
#endthestigma – 774K posts
#traumainformed – 62.4K posts
#mentalillnesses – 30.6K posts
Let’s talk mental health and social media. There is a large part of me that is sincerely worried about the trajectory of self-esteem as a function of social media. So much so, I wrote a research paper on it. That seems like a very loaded and educated statement. Trust me, it’s not. It’s this idea that we create unrealistic ideals of who we are to present to the world, assuming they’ll give us the likes, shares, and comments that will make us feel good, and more fulfilled. As a society in general, we have started to allow external forces to determine our level of self-esteem and self-worth. In other words, how we feel about ourselves. It’s disheartening and scary. What I found in my research that I didn’t necessarily love, if I’m being honest, is that participants in studies find a boost of self-love in part because of their relationship with social media. I could dissect the validity and reliability of these studies, but I won’t because who wants to read that? My apologies for those research nerds who are reading this. It’s not personal.
Mental health is booming. Not only the conversation about it, but the rate at which people are seeking out services. Being a young clinician in the field, this is an exciting shift to experience. It isn’t uncommon for clients to come in who “boo” their family members or friends who don’t partake in mental health treatment because of the stigma or stubbornness they inherit. In fact, I hear it from nearly every client. See those hashtags listed above? Those are among millions that I pulled from Instagram in a matter of five minutes. The generation that receives a lot of slack for plugging into devices and ultimately cutting off human interaction at every turn, is also the generation that is responsible for generating the conversation about mental health on global platforms.
Maybe this post is for each of you to applaud and celebrate your peers and counterparts doing their part to amplify the voice behind mental health, or maybe it is for me to let go of some of my jaded opinions of how social media is crushing our ability to connect interpersonally. Regardless, if you’re a social media user, which I bet you are… I challenge you to engage in conversation on a platform that makes you feel comfortable and alive. One to which you believe you are seen and heard and amplify your voice around mental health. We live in a world where these platforms can create movements and strengthen advocacy that other modalities simply cannot.
“You are allowed to start over. You are never required to remain stuck or stagnant.
The journey is yours to reset whenever you feel like it.” – MB
We would love to hear what accounts you follow that advocate for your mental wellness. Comment below and let us know. Be sure to follow us at @nashvillecentertp