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Anon

What made you start sharing your mental health experiences online/reading about others?

I’ve always been open about my mental health problems but started sharing last year when my health nose dived, basically to explain why I vanished for a while. I only have a small following but felt comfortable with them enough to share parts of my PMDD, my PTSD and my anxiety and depression. I then started having people share their experiences with me regarding this, seeking me out in solidarity. I was also inspired by my friend who shared her experiences.

What have been the pros for you?

The pros have been talking with friends about this. Finding an understanding. Having people come to me asking for advice (I’m not an expert so I always recommend getting in touch with GPs or groups like Mind).

What have been the cons for you?

I think that there’s a feeling that you are not able to disagree with others talking about their mental health without coming under attack yourself. I suffer badly from paranoia so that can feed into that.

Did your experience online lead you to making any real life questions?

Nothing I’ve read has made me change things. I occasionally find memes or advice pictures that I feel help me or can be used to explain how I’m feeling to others. For example, I follow guerilla feminism and she shared a picture that explains why anxiety and depression are a perfect conflicting storm in your brain - I thought it was a good way to describe the combined exhaustion and mania I get from the two conditions to my partner who doesn’t suffer.

Did it lead you to making any decisions about accessing professional or medical help?

I’ve been unwell since I was a teenager so I’ve been in care of hospital teams, Drs, therapists and my gynaecologist (my PMDD has been treated for the last 6 years) so I’ve always been aware about care.