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Can You Trust Mental Health Blogs?

 

Mental health blogs can be cathartic for the person writing them and the person reading them. The online mental health community and the blogs affiliated with it have grown tremendously over the years. On these sites, people express their experiences related to mental illness or mental health. Sometimes they share tips regarding what helps them cope with the symptoms of mental health conditions. There are benefits to writing or reading a mental health blog. However, there’s a balance between reading these blogs and taking care of your mental health. The content that you find might be helpful, but it could be harmful. It depends on the blog you’re reading, as well as what you take away from it.

 

Benefits of mental health blogs

For readers:

Reading a mental health blog can be a great way to find a sense of understanding and camaraderie. When it comes to mental illness, people who live with it understand what day-to-day life is like for a person living with a particular condition. If you have Bipolar disorder or anxiety, and no one else in your daily life has these conditions, you may feel lonely. Finding a blog by someone who has the same diagnosis gives you someone to relate to when you read it. You can communicate with the blogger through comments. You look forward to their new posts, which brightens your day. Knowing that you’re not alone is comforting and empowering.

 

For bloggers:

Writing can be an excellent outlet. Whether you have a mental illness or not, a blog can be an excellent place to vent about the difficult parts of life. You can also share the good parts of your journey. While some prefer to use paper journals for writing, others like blogs because of the sense of community they provide. You know that your thoughts are seen and heard by others when you write a blog post, which provides validation. Another benefit of blogs is that they’re digital. It’s hard to misplace them, whereas you might lose track of a paper journal. Both authors of blogs and the fans of them can make friends through the site and find a greater sense of belonging among the people that they meet.

 

When mental health blogs aren’t appropriate

You might find new information through the mental health blogs that you read. Sometimes, the content is accurate, while others it isn’t. It’s crucial to use your judgment, and take things with a grain of salt when you read about other people’s experiences. Remember, what works for someone else might not work for you. Be wary of receiving mental health advice from people online who aren’t professionals in the field. For example, a blogger you follow posts about stopping their medication abruptly and says they were okay after doing that. Discontinuing a medicine without consulting a doctor is incredibly dangerous. That is one of many examples as to when you should use your discretion and speak to a doctor. Mental health blogs aren’t a good place for medical advice. Everyone is different, and it’s important to remember that the bloggers you follow are often struggling, too. Reading blogs can be helpful and provide comfort. But if you find that a particular blogger brings you down or triggers you, you can step back and take a break or stop following the person altogether.

 

Therapy

While you can find a great sense of community through writing or reading mental health blogs, they aren’t a substitute for therapy. Whether you see someone online or in your local area, a mental health professional such as a counselor or therapist can provide you with therapy that’s catered specifically to you and your needs.