Depression is in Love with Twitter
Ways I've used twitter to cope with my mental health issues
This is the unfortunate love story between Depression and Twitter.
So, I have depression. I possibly also have a form of bipolar disorder. Not sure. My last psychiatrist was really bad and diagnosed me after meeting me for the first time, which is a shame because the first psychiatrist I ever saw was really good. Anyway, back to the topic.
I take medication, and sure it helps, but it doesn’t magically cure me of my condition. I still have to live with the symptoms of my depression AND anxiety… not to mention the occasional manic episode in which I want to do crazy shit like spend all my money on books and jump out of my window (I promise it’s not in a suicidal way, at least on those occasions). Naturally, I have developed different coping mechanisms to help me live with Depression. This is how Depression met...
I’m not going to lie. I use twitter for three main reasons: to get attention, to get a form of distractions, and to vent to strangers when I’m too much of a coward to talk to the real people in my life. I know I should be able to open up to the people who are in my life “IRL” (in real life). However, it can be very difficult to express certain depressing thoughts to them; some of such thoughts seem to be too dark to tell to a loved one, but not dar enough to not broadcast on a social media platform. So I rely on my old (but not that old because I only started using it recently) blue birdy friend, Twitter.
When I first started sharing my writing on social media, I decided to use a pen name. I wanted my art and writing to be separate from my current life. In a way, I wanted to create a different life for myself without having to worry about judgment. Twitter has been great for this. I get to share thoughts that I normally wouldn’t say aloud. I also get ‘likes’ for doing so! Tell me that’s not a freaking sweet deal.
This is how Depression started loving Twitter. Its love, unfortunately, is unrequited. And what is there not to love? The attention, the people, the rush you get with every like, the fact that you get to read strangers’ thoughts, and even maybe stalk them (in a healthy way of course).
I know what you are thinking; how can Depression and Twitter be an iconic duo if Depression’s love is unrequited? Well, let me tell you, my gentle reader. It may not be at all! So yay for me writing this piece that may not even be the best example of an iconic duo. HOWEVER! I do want to talk about the use of social media and mental health (at least in my case).
Lately, whenever I feel the start of a depressive episode I turn to twitter for some form of distractions or relief. It certainly does not feel like the healthiest coping mechanism. However, I have to admit that I have chosen some really bad ways to cope with my mental health issues in the past.
I do find myself wondering whether or not my use of social media is healthy. I think that maybe it is affecting the way I think about my depression. Twitter allows me to be honest with myself in ways that I usually wouldn’t be otherwise. I get to express dark thoughts. I don’t have to worry about hurting my loved ones. However, I wonder if using twitter as such an outlet is unhealthy. I know the platform wasn’t intended to be used in such a way. And the app is certainly not a mental health app. I know that there are a lot of people out there that use it the same way as I do. And to those people I say, I hope you can find professional and healthy ways cope with your mental health. May you find the courage to talk to people in real life.
I know that this wasn’t much of a love story as thought it would be. However, I think that writing this has given me space to self-reflect on my social media use and its potential consequences on my mental health. I sincerely hope that this has been a humorous and self-aware piece of writing that has also helped you self-reflect on social media and the role it has in your life.