Mental Illness Being Shared Online

Mental Illness Being Shared Online:

How much do you take seriously?

 

Mental Illness Being Shared Online

Have you ever seen friends of yours, or maybe just folks you used to know, post about their troubles?

I tend to post a lot on social media, some channels more than others, and yeah a lot of it on my personal accounts is about my family. I don’t “friend” everyone in the world, only folks I wouldn’t mind sharing this information with if we were talking on the phone or in person.

I do have several blogs, this one being personal and the others for business. Yes, I post about some of my family stuff here, and that’s potentially being shared with the whole world, but again, nothing I’d consider private information so I’m okay with that.

But I see friends of mine posting things out in the public that…honestly…I can’t believe they’d say out loud, much less put in writing for the world to see. Or more specifically, for their loved ones to see.

A friend of mine from high school is very open about their mental trouble. Depression, manic episodes, suicidal thoughts, etc. Now, I haven’t talked to this person in many years, and I haven’t laid eyes on them since high school (back about 17 years ago OMG I’m old). They post through the ups and downs, how it impacts their family, lovers, etc.

Lately, it’s gotten what I’d term as bad. As in, having to choose between going to the hospital for treatment or to work. Or posting from the pysch ward, or on their way, because they are thinking about killing themselves.

I…don’t know what to say to those posts. And they aren’t asking me to respond, I get it…but why post it if you aren’t looking for help? Attention? I don’t know. Today in particular, I thought about how this person has children, mostly grown, and how this information was shared on Facebook where they could obviously see it.

Maybe this person doesn’t care, or isn’t thinking about it when they are in these “states”. I’ve been depressed before, but never to the point this person is getting treatment for. I can’t say I’ve been there. I’ve never been in that position. But I’ve gone through some crazy times in life (having a bunch of siblings = more drama potential, naturally). And sometimes…you just don’t post about it while you’re in the thick of it.

Back to this particular case, I hate to “unfriend” them, but I find myself wondering why they are sharing so much. The dramatic posts though are upsetting! And if I don’t respond, or break that connection, is that helping or hurting? I’d hate to doubt the truthfulness of their statements.

I think I’m going to pray for them again (as I’ve done in the past) and send them a message. I don’t live close by so I can’t just take them out for coffee…but maybe a communication, a note saying “Hey, it’s been a while and we haven’t talked in years but…I’d be happy to offer an ear? A sounding board?” And that just stops me in my tracks…what do you say? Or are you supposed to say something?

I’m not posting this to cause hard feelings or start more drama. Just something weighing on my heart tonight and I thought I’d see if anyone else could offer insight.

~Katrina

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherryl Wilson
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 08:55:41

    Heavy feeling when you don’t know what to say or if saying anything will help or hurt. There is probably not a right answer. Reach out if you feel you are able but don’t expect too much back.

    Reply

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