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Mental health posts on social media

(43 Posts)
Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 10:11:44

I probably am being unreasonable but this is the 5th time I've seen this since 1st January.

"I suffer from depression and panic attacks..." You've probably had the same copied and pasted Facebook post.

Fuck. Off.

I was diagnosed with depression in 1999 at the age of 21. With many lows and highs, culminating in me destroying the living room on a high, failing miserably and then going on a 'walk', barefoot, no coat, in the snow in November, with the intention of going into the river to drown, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder in 2012. I've told a few people; H knows (obviously), my father and stepmother know, as do my in-laws.

The thing that really boils my urine are the people whom I considered good friends, with whom I've been open and honest about my diagnosis who were then nowhere to be seen. Party invitations stopped. Nights out stopped. Previously frequent conversations by email and social media stopped.

I'm still me. I just have a wonky brain, as I tell my children.

Depression isn't glamorous. It's not pleasant to live with, and I've found to my cost that telling people you have a mental illness results in isolation.

Stop making light of mental health difficulties just for likes.

BitchQueen90 Thu 05-Jan-17 10:17:30

I think a lot of people don't really understand depression/anxiety. I've never had it myself but work with people who do. A lot of people post this Facebook stuff for attention and to be honest, the people I know who genuinely suffer from depression tend not to talk about it on social media.


GeillisTheWitch Thu 05-Jan-17 10:17:52

What's the rest of the post, it's hard to tell if it's "making light" of MH problems just from the start of it. Lots of people do suffer from depression, why is it wrong for them to be open about it?

gamerchick Thu 05-Jan-17 10:19:29

I'm torn in a way, on the one hand I'm glad that it's flooding social media to maybe normalise it more but on the other I've seen total hypocrisy by people posting this stuff when I know their actual feelings irl.

The mental health road is a lonely one for sufferers and their carers I think. People just don't want to know. It's almost they're scared you talk about it to them so they avoid you hmm


TheSecondOfHerName Thu 05-Jan-17 10:23:38

I have had depression & anxiety for 25 years. Two stays in hospital, still on medication. One of my children was ill for three years with the same thing and my brother, aunt and grandmother all died from suicide. My feelings about mental illness are too complicated to be reduced to a generic 'like-mining' post on social media.

Wren1975 Thu 05-Jan-17 10:25:15

YANBU. I have seen lots of these kinds of posts. In my experience they are never really posted by genuine sufferers.

Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 10:27:41

Geillis It's not wrong for them to be open about it, it's more that they're people who didn't want anything to do with me after I confided about my bipolar. They're still FB friends, but stopped being real life friends. I'll always say 'ay up' when I see them, but I was the same person on 1st December that I was on 21st December, just on anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic medication to calm my brain down.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 05-Jan-17 10:28:45

Do you mean people are just copying and pasting a statement saying they have MH probs?

I've not seen this. Myself and other friends have posted statuses our MH issues to raise awareness and understanding. I have a friend who is currently being penalised for having taken time off, signed off by the doctor for MH, at work. My own family don't really get it. I think it's important to talk about as the more I have talked about it the more I have found that people I know have suffered or are close to someone who has. It's a cause I fight for.

MargaretCavendish Thu 05-Jan-17 10:33:32

I think trying to work out who 'really' has depression like some posts here are doing is horrendously counter productive, stigmatising and really unkind. It reminds me of people saying that some self harmers 'just do it for attention'. Oh well, that's alright then? I know that when I was at my worst with my depression there were some people who thought I was exaggerating because I could make it through a night in the pub looking pretty normal. Screw those people, and screw anyone who thinks they can somehow diagnosise and second guess how other people are feeling.

Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 10:36:06

Middle yes, it's a generic post that has been copied and pasted.

I'm just wondering if I'm brave enough to post about my mental illness in the same way, only I'd start it "I have bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder".

BillSykesDog Thu 05-Jan-17 10:38:22

I understand what you mean. But also it is often not a piece of cake to be family or friends of someone with MH issues. I suffer from terrible depression and I know it's not easy on DH when I am ill. By the same token I have friends with bipolar and BPD and it's very tough hanging in there. The guy who has bipolar does awful things when he's ill and has put his family through agony but his condition is cyclical and it's easier to cope because it comes and goes and he's well for long periods. BPD is a very difficult one because it's a horrible condition and people usually have it because of awful events in their backgrounds and you can have a lot of sympathy for people who suffer from it. But at the same time they can be very, very difficult and unpredictable to deal with and never knowing when they next mouthful of abuse or dangerous situation or self inflicted crisis they expect everybody else to sympathise with and sort out will come is difficult and draining and can be damaging to your own mental health. Unfortunately it's a condition which means you can treat other people very badly. I had a friend with BPD who asked if she and a violent, dangerous drug addicted man she met in a mental hospital and known for a few weeks could move in with me and my children and was met with a barrage of abuse because I wasn't being supportive. She was either idolising you and smothering you or totally rejecting you. There was no inbetween. I do sympathise with her but I'm afraid for my own health I couldn't continue the friendship. Sometimes it's really not as simple as a flat out rejection because you have MH issues, but the fact that for their own sake and their family's people do have to draw the line somewhere.

1horatio Thu 05-Jan-17 10:46:35

MH problems carry a certain stigma, so, whilst I wouldn't be I thinks it's actually really brave to be open about it.

giovannipiero90 Thu 05-Jan-17 10:48:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Thu 05-Jan-17 10:49:21

I haven't seen these sort of posts on FB so I'm not sure of the context. Is it that you think they don't have depression? That they have self-diagnosed because they feel a bit down now and again, so completely misunderstand what depression actually is?

It is awful that you have felt isolated as a result of telling people. I think we are crap in society in knowing how to respond to mental illness and it needs to change. As you say, you are still you. I can see some glimmers of change, and hope that it will get much better.

CocktailQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 10:52:09

I agree, OP. It's like a lot of social media activity - copying and pasting without necessarily thinking about what you're posting, and without it actually meaning anything. Superficial shit.

Someone fairly close to me has posted the status and I know for a fact they have never suffered from depresison or anxiety. Bizarre.

flowers for you

DeleteOrDecay Thu 05-Jan-17 10:59:36

I think I can see what you mean. I don't really like any of those 'copy and paste' status' relating to anything (I see a lot of them surrounding cancer too). Although the people who share them might have good intentions, it just seems a bit generic superficial. I can spot the copy and paste status' from a mile off and very rarely read them in their entirety.

I'm not saying that the people who share those things about mental health don't have a mental illness, far from it. It's just that it doesn't seem genuine or from the heart because it's a copy of someone else's status rather than a reflection of their own views and feelings, iykwim? Like they've just copied someone else's without really putting much thought into it.

I think I too would feel a bit put out if I had disclosed my mental illness to someone who then shunned me, only to find them 'preaching' online about understanding mental health, so I don't think YABU.

Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 11:00:50

I know one poster does have depression and he's still a good friend (isn't aware of my MH issues) and I empathised and sent an email and he pipped at me and waved on the school run this morning. The post that I thought was written from the heart by him was a copy and paste thing that I've seen replicated several times. It makes me sad that the other four people who have posted this were people who distanced themselves from me.

BillSykesDog I'm still digesting what you've written as it's an honest and frank way of explaining what might have happened. Genuinely, thank you. smile

BillSykesDog Thu 05-Jan-17 11:30:57

I hope it's useful for you boogers. The other thing I would mention about being friends with someone with BPD, is that there can sometimes be a tendency to see things as personal rejections which aren't. So if, for example, someone is not really socialising because of money worries or a friendship has just naturally waned because of other things, someone with BPD might have a tendency to think 'This is a personal rejection because of me and who I am and because I am bad/worthless' when it's nothing of the sort. Don't want to say that's what is happening in your situation as I don't know what's going on, but it's worth bearing in mind. Especially given your reply which sounds like you might have a tendency to blame it on yourself.

nethunsreject Thu 05-Jan-17 11:36:58

I wholeheartedly agree, op. It's such glib nonsense. I started a post about my feelings re the Semicolon project the other day. I feel the same way as you do re these status updates.

DailyFail1 Thu 05-Jan-17 11:41:57

In all fairness depression/anxiety doesn't have the same social stigma attached to it as bpd. I had 'mild' bpd (diagnosed as 'manic depressive' in 1998 then bpd just before I started work) & was such badly stigmatized by my managers at work at the time that I never told anyone ever again - the bullying has traumatized me. At the same time several people were diagnosed with depression or anxiety in the same centre but nobody else was made to feel like they were one step from the crazy house like I was.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Thu 05-Jan-17 11:42:22

Yup OP. It's just the FB poster showing off for the purpose of attention. One person who does this among my 'friends' is one of the most self absorbed people I know.

Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 11:47:38

BillSykesDog I do! That's me to a T, but I try and turn that feeling into a positive.

I had an interview for a job recently (which I got, yay! smile) but one question was what are your strengths and the next was what are your weaknesses, and my reply to that one was that I take things to heart, with a specific workplace example with the outcome that the person involved (who was a git to me and was known for being difficult to work with) ended up discussing cricket and looking up test match scores! I know I take things personally but I try very hard to make something of it, if you know what I mean? I try and find common ground and build on.

RebelRogue Thu 05-Jan-17 11:55:53

I dunno. I don't share the "keep this as a status for 5 mins/24 h whatever in support of mental health,depression,cancer etc" because i find them highly irritating. However a common theme with my friends with mental health issues is that no one gets it,no one listens and no one feels the same. A feeling that even amongst other people with depression,anxiety, PTSD etc they are out of the ordinary for doing what they do etc. What i do most is listen, i might see a post or picture though that i think might apply and send it to them. It might be one made by the happiest person i. The world living a life of luxuries and puffy pink clouds, but to them sometimes it just means that someone,somewhere feels like they do and they feel "normal".

HopperBusTicket Thu 05-Jan-17 11:56:49

This is interesting because I've had PND after both children and am much better now (son is 16 months and I'm still on medication but thinking it's time to come off). I've spoken to family and friends about it but haven't ever posted about it on social media and haven't been open at work (because I was on maternity leave when I was ill I didn't really need to) but I've been wondering whether I should open up.

My employer has introduced 'time to change agents' who have experienced mental health problems to support others and I've been wondering about volunteering. But I admit I am worried about stigma and views of my competence. And I don't want to make this all about me but what youve written does also make me wonder if it might be seen that I wasn't as ill as some (luckily I had good support and treatment and it does seem to be associated with having a baby) so it's not as authentic.

I hope I have been a friend to others with MH problems. But I do agree with a previous poster that it's not always easy - I feel terrible when I think how difficult it must have been for my husband and sons to live with me.

I don't know what I'm saying really. Just that it might not be as simple as disdaining people who post FB statuses because they didn't support you or you didn't know they've been ill.

Boogers Thu 05-Jan-17 11:58:25

DailyFail when I was first diagnosed with depression in 1999 I was truly a horrible person to be around at work. At home the relationship I was in was ending, and I don't regret that for one second, but I was not a nice person at work. I say that looking back with hindsight, and I've moved on since then, but I wish I could apologise to a few people. After going on Prozac and receiving counselling I was a different person, back to being almost me. I had a few good workmates who stuck with me and knew that something wasn't right, but my behaviour pre Prozac was atrocious, and I don't blame people for being wary when I worked with them then.

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