Monday, 29 June 2015

#AskMatt - "Is all the openness on social media a good idea?"

I've decided that on top of my blog each Thursday(ish), I would launch a Q & A. If you would like to ask a question - any question, don't worry about being offensive! - then each week I will, try and answer it here. Tweet me your question using the hashtag #ASKMATT @MattStreuli

This week's question is whether being open about my mental health on this blog and social media is a good idea? Am I making myself a target?






Ahh social media… I share your concern. It can be a double edged sword – so to speak. I find it a way of processing and expressing how I feel and how that relates to how I think – the two are not always the same. I know I should be proud of where I am and I am doing OK but how I feel is far different. I can’t get the two to meet in the middle. 

Publishing it all online here blog form means that people can read it if they want to. Some people are scared of me. Some people are scared of asking how I am in case they don’t know how to deal with the answer. That is the stigma of mental health. Putting it on my blog is a very non-confrontational way of expressing how I am doing. If ‘friends’ read it and want to engage with me, they can – and I’ve had support from friends recently I haven’t heard from in years. At the same time, people I considered close friends have drifted apart and maybe I scare them or whatever but it shows what sort of friend they actually are.

On the scale of mental health, today I am actually pretty good. I’m functioning and in a steady job so I’m nowhere near bad enough to be a major concern for the NHS. Hence the slow approach. 

If my blog can be read by people and helps them understand mental health or why I may feel or act the way I do rather than just thinking I’m some moody git – that has to be a good thing. If my blog inspired a few people to sign that petition for fair funding for mental health I featured a week or so ago… that’s brilliant. Suicide is the biggest cause of death in young men in the UK. I feel that because I am in a better place than many of those in mental health treatment, I feel responsible for fighting the fight. Which I guess marries up to the whole ‘taking care of people’ thing that is in my emergency programming.

Thank you for being supportive and giving it a read I am much better today than I was a few weeks ago. All I can do is keep trying.

Tweet me your question using the hashtag #ASKMATT @MattStreuli