Blogging for Mental Health

bfmh15-4-copyBlog For Mental Health http://blogformentalhealth.com/ is an official project set up to help raise awareness for Mental Health education through the stories we share on our blogs. The aim is to educate and eradicate stigma. To become a part of the project, all you need to do is write a post and take the BFMH pledge.

If you asked me four years ago what Mental Health is, I might have said it was more to do with a serious psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia. My limited knowledge came mainly from the stigmatised reports we read in the press.

My initial diagnosis was Depression secondary to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I had no idea they came under the umbrella of Mental Health. When my circumstances got progressively worse, it became apparent that something more serious was at the helm.

The actual appointment with a Psychiatrist was the easiest part, but my arrogance scoffed at her new diagnosis. It felt like we were sharing a dreadful secret from the dark recesses of my soul and I remember wishing the Doctor would lower her voice.

Dr H asked, “Do you have the internet at home?” Those words were destined to change my life.

Trawling through websites for information is invaluable, but I wanted to hear about ‘real’ people’s experiences of mental health. Forums are an excellent source of identification and support, but blogging was something quite different.

I am quite inquisitive and an avid people watcher – okay, call me nosy, if you like.thI5RZ306U Entering into someone’s personal blog-space, especially for the first time, can feel a bit like stepping into a part of their home and reading excerpts from a private journal. Once a blogger becomes familiar, it can be more akin to sitting in their living room having a fireside chat.

The first thing that struck me about the Mental Health blogging community is the honesty. People talk candidly about things I spent decades running from and here were the words of a stranger, writing the unspeakable… tearing down years of ignorant stigma.

thSP1XF8ISI write to think and it feels a remarkable privilege to share a little part of this journey on my blog. Without the blogging community, I would not be where I am today. Now it is time to give a little something back and this year it comes in the shape of the Blog For Mental Health pledge.

“I pledge my commitment to the blog for mental health 2015 project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma”

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21 thoughts on “Blogging for Mental Health

  1. Ellen

    I was thinking about this. I have mixed feelings about the ‘no stigma’ types of MH campaigns. But I do agree that reading people’s stories is a great way to understand both your own struggles and other peoples’. I too have learned a lot from blogs, especially the ‘mentally interesting’ variety.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I think all of us contribute to helping to end stigma, even if it is only on our blogs. Im not so brave revealing that part of myself to people in every day life, but I will try with the safest ones.

      Thank you, Ellen

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  2. mandy smith

    I love that pledge, Cat. It’s amazing how much healing takes place when we knock down those walls and overcome the stigma attached to mental health problems. In all honesty- I believe we all deal with something that probably comes under that umbrella of mental health.

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  3. Lucky Wreck

    SO glad you are here and sharing your experiences on this blog. I think writing is one of the most helpful things when it comes to coping with mental health issues. Not only for the writer, but even more-so for the reader.

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  4. luckyotter

    Great article. Blogging has been the best therapy I’ve ever had, and it’s a lot cheaper than traditional therapy too. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek professional help too, but blogging has given me so much clarity and insight into others and myself, and is a great way to find others who suffer too. The best thing of all is when people tell you your blog has helped THEM.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I also attend group therapy and blogging is very similar, maybe a little more honest because of the anonymity, but this is what makes it more special and insightful and, yes, when someone says our blogs helped, it does make it all the more worthwhile.
      Thank you for commenting.

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      1. luckyotter

        Cat, the anonymity does help a lot, but I don’t think this blog is that anonymous anymore…people in my family all know about it now :/ But you know what? I don’t care! What are they going to do, TALK BAD ABOUT ME? They do that anyway.

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  5. Into the mild

    Thank you for this!
    I also have PTSD but rarely bring it up, even when talking specifically about mental health, because öf the stigma and misunderstanding.
    Stay strong and keep writing!

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  6. therabbitholez

    I had exactly the same idea about mental health, I wasted a lot of years stuffing everything into my pressure cooker, not wanting to deal with anything and when the lid finally blew, that was far scarier than hearing the words mental health, had I listened further who knows..

    I was once one of those people who helped enable the stigma for people like myself, now of course I realise that only ongoing support will aid my recovery and pledging to intiiatives like this
    will let others know they’re not alone and there is no shame in the words mental health.

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  7. Pingback: My Travels with Depression | The Official Blog For Mental Health Project

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