Karen Cannon, 365 Pearls of Wisdom
What made you start sharing your mental health experiences online?
I’ve always been super open and honest about my experience with PND and the ongoing mental health issues I have now, it’s a very real part of my life and when I’m struggling it feels natural to share those lows, just like I when I share the highs. I’ve never been one to pretend that I’m OK and everything is perfect, when I’m suffering it helps to talk to the people around me so it feels very organic and authentic for me to share that with the people I’ve got to know online. It’s important to me to be real about it so others can see that it’s actually quite normal to have mental health issues and that you can still navigate your life in a positive way even if you’re suffering.
What have been the pros for you?
Having a positive outlet to share what’s going on with me. I actually find it quite difficult to hide when I’m suffering or going through a relapse so it feels a relief that I can talk about it online and have a supportive community around me too.
What have been the cons for you?
I feel incredibly blessed to say that so far I haven't encountered any negativity when sharing my mental health status online, I’m sure that might not be the case for many other people but I am so accepting of my situation and how its become a part of my life that I feel quite empowered to share who I am and the reality of life with mental health issues.
Did your your sharing online lead you to making any real life changes?
By the time I really started to open up online about my experience with mental health I had already sought support and help and was quite proficient in managing my wellbeing. I work with mothers who suffer with maternal mental health issues and/or long term mental health issues so when I was at my lowest I knew what I had to do to get better, I felt relieved to reach out for help because I knew it was the first step on road to recovery, so I was already on that journey when I started to write and be open about it.
Did it lead you to making any decisions about accessing professional or medical help?
I was lucky that my health visitor was right on board from the moment I needed help so again by the time I really opened up online professional support was already in place for me.