WHY DON'T WE ACCEPT MENTAL HEALTH WITH THE SAME INTENSITY IN REAL LIFE AS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
"What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation. '' ~ Glenn Close
We are living in the world where we see mental health being such a viral term on social media. Now, the people are taking their as well as others’ mental health into account by breaking the stigmas like ‘you are faking it, other people have it a lot worse, only you can make yourself happy and many other attached to it’. Over a period of time, we have seen that people have started following the concept of self love and self care.
It has come to our notice that people have started talking about what’s mental health and why it is so important to maintain it, as well as understanding that talking about mental illness is not attention seeking, but brave and important. But the accurate literacy about mental health is still lacking behind among population. We see mental health being in the conversations till the time it’s just a topic to talk upon but when someone actually encounters with some mental health issue or problem, do we put in the same inputs? We even see every next person is posting things about the mental health and its importance, but the question which comes is, to what extent they actually carry this thing out in reality?
The inputs and zeal which we see on social media by people on stories and posts aren’t really implementing in the same way when it comes to reality. Even the minute things should be taken in account, when we talk about mental health coming up in reality. For example - labeling individuals , body shamming them , uncertain comments on their pictures/posts/stories on social media ,making fun of peoples shortcomings, should be given a thought before doing. Another example could be the roasting videos and comments to the extreme, for gaining views and popularity; this does not add up to promoting mental health in a positive manner. Deriving pleasure out of insulting / roasting someone is not okay. We really don’t think about the after effects and keep on doing the things without even giving it a thought that, it could leave scars on someone’s self image that is beyond repair. Often, the victims are exposed to developing low self-concept. Rational thoughts should be taken up before indulging in something which could have a severe impact and massive repercussions on the mental health of an individual. Talking, expressing yourself, making humor out of things is not bad, but to what extend should be thought upon .Everyone has their own grey areas, no one is perfect and they should be respected for the same.
Mental health has become such a trending term on social media that most of the people feel abided towards it. There is a high need to develop this insight that just talking about the mental health on social media is not the solution. People who are going through emotional roller coasters must be given importance in real rather than negligence. It has been seen that many people are coming forward who aim and want to take steps to untangle their life. This step should not only be talked upon on social media sites but also be acknowledged in reality.
When we look around we see quite many people using words on social media stories, posts and with others in conversations like ‘’ I am very Depressed’’ ,‘’I am having Anxiety Disorder’’ more of using disorders like adjectives and using it very casually, without any clinical significance . Even in humorous manner, we use many terms like OCD, Depression , Anxiety , Bipolar etc on our social media platforms without even knowing the complexity of the these words . We have made mental health terms and disorders so generalized that it’s being used so casually and losing their complexity and real meaning. What people really need to understand is that, anxiety is not just being little nervous and depression is not just being little sad and this works for several other things and terms as well. This generalization of the terms is making all of us sort of neglecting when someone really talks about their illnesses/problems and we tend to react by generalizing it, considering that everyone is going through the same. We even talk about the phrase “ it’s okay not to be okay” but why we see this concept vanishing when it come to being really sympathetic or empathetic with the people who actually need to be handle sensitively and with the people who struggle to maintain their normality. Even if we see ourselves evolved in the field of mental health, some of us are still abided and constrained by our conceptions and personal biases. All of these things are creating a negative impact.
Effects of social media on mental health:
- Depression and anxiety – when we spend too much time on the social media it starts impacting our mood and the chronic users are found to be affected more leading to their bad mood, including depression and anxiety. Social media life lets us see the deliberately chosen best pieces of every other person's lives, which we contrast with the negatives in our own life. Contrasting our self with others is a certain way to anxiety, and social media based life has just made this simpler to do.
- Cyber bullying - While online life makes it simpler to meet new individuals and make companions, it likewise empowers brutal individuals to attack others with little exertion. Culprits of bullying can utilize the anonymity that informal communities give to pick up individuals' trust and afterwards threaten them before their companions. For example, they may make a fake profile and act friendly to the friends afterwards double-cross and humiliate them on the web.
- FOMO (Fear of missing out) - In simple words FOMO means ‘’ Fear of missing out’’. It’s a form of a social anxiety; It stands on the belief that others might be having more fun, living their best lives, while the person experiencing the anxiety is not present there. FOMO can also be an increased and persistent anxiety of apprehension of missing out on the social events or the experiences that others are alleged to be having in their lives.
- Unhealthy sleep patterns – apart from all the above, unhealthy sleep patterns is one of the major setback of social media. Spending too much time on the social media sites can lead to poor sleep and develop unhealthy sleep patterns. Increased use of social media has extensively having severe impact on the quality of sleep.
- General addiction – most of the people are addicted to social media and they don’t even realize that. Studies found out that social media can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol . This addiction is leading to several daily life problems in our lives. This is one of the most common addiction of which we all are part of.
Apart from the flaws, the social media also lead to the coming up of many mental health organizations. These organizations are working towards making it a better place for the people by helping and giving people a sense of direction towards mental health and actually giving out good to the world. People have started taking the toll of their mental health. Many of them are now taking intuitive decisions and overcoming their issues. Talking about mental health is not enough, but addressing it, sensitizing it and creating a healthy and a safe environment is all the way more important. Writing quotes, paragraphs and views about mental health won’t really help the people till the time we start implementing those things in reality. When we say mental health is equally important as physical health, it should be taken up in practice as well. You might not know what battle an individual is fighting in their life, but all we can do is help them out with their problems by providing them a safe space not only on social media but also in reality. Apart from this, the mental health promotions relating to the mental ill-health prevention should also be looked upon with the equal importance.
One should never let people’s opinions start to collect and play on them and divert them towards the pessimistic side .Our biggest toxic trait is running away from our toxic traits. So, to have a healthy self, one needs to value their inner being.