Toxicity within the mental health community

When this topic was brought up to me to write about, bells rang in my head. Toxicity within the mental health community has been such a huge issue lately.

I’ve been seeing so much of it on twitter between others. Along with attacks made toward me.

Here’s just a few things that I have noticed/have had done to me (read with caution as some of these may be a potential trigger ⚠️)

  • People are making fun of a person for their sexual orientation
  • People are calling others ugly, liars, and any other possible degrading name you can think of
  • People are making up lies about others
  • Attacks on others for their mental illness
  • Degrading others on a post about their feelings
  • Comments being made to people about telling them to kill themselves
  • People “trolling” then playing the “victim” when something is said back to them
  • Lies about symptoms
  • Anonymous posts on Q&A sites degrading a person
  • Vulgar pictures
  • Sexual advances on women and even men
  • People receiving multiple messages asking for more information about them when they’ve asked multiple times for no messages about personal things
  • Degrading one because someone didn’t “like” what they had to say
  • Medication debates
  • Telling people how they “should cope” with a certain issue
  • People saying their available to talk to someone, then blow them off
  • Vulgar videos

Just to name a few. I’m sure there’s some I’ve missed or just haven’t seen yet.

I’m going to be straight forward when I say this is absolute bullshit. No sugar coating it. Absolute bullshit.

Mental illness is such a damn struggle day in and day out. We’re supposed to be advocating to make others aware of mental health and most importantly, lifting each other up and out of the darkness.

To be honest, many people say that they “want more people to stand up and be vocal about mental health”. In all honesty, if I was a new mental health advocate and saw all the negative shit and hate that is out now, I’d be like, hell no. Forget this. I’m not getting involved in this shit. It looks like a negative community.

A NEGATIVE COMMUNITY. That’s exactly what we look like right now. It’s pathetic.

Think about it.

Is this really the shit you want to be spreading around?! The shit you want others to see?

I’m honestly ashamed to say I’m part of the mental health community right now. I’ve really backed off posting a lot of shit because I’ve been getting attacked. I’ve also been getting attacked for not saying much at all.

So what do I do??

I’ve thought about it. I’m still going to keep advocating. I’ve been doing it about a year and I’m not going to let some idiots ruin it for me. This is my outlet. It’s helped me so much. I’d most likely be dead if I didn’t have this.

So the next thing I want to talk about is what can you do? How can you help?

There’s a few things you can do. Whether you’re an advocate or not.

  • Report any negative comments and block the person
  • Reach out to others. Be supportive. Let them know you have their back
  • Not telling people in the middle of a crisis that “they’ll be okay”, “just get over it” or “oh go use your coping skills”. Actually reach out to them
  • Don’t feed in to a toxic person. That just fuels them even more
  • It’s okay to stand up for yourself and others. However, if it’s starting to negatively affect you or them, take a step back
  • Don’t ever make anyone feel like their an annoyance or not wanted
  • Never ever ever say to someone that you wish they were dead or to end their life. That is the WORST, DEGRADABLE, DISPICIBLE thing you can do to another human being!!
  • Don’t say to someone “oh this works for me, it’ll work for you”. That’s not always the case
  • Work together with others
  • Form friendships
  • Before you post anything, think “how will does this sound to someone whose going to read it?”
  • If you don’t like something someone says, simple, block the person. Don’t start a comment war
  • Continue to spread positive, inspirational messages daily

The only way that this toxicity is going to end is if we all work together and stick together.

Start spreading positivity instead of negative hate.

❤️ Nikki


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Nikki, just read your piece. Extremely well written. I have a draft of something regarding the same subject matter, after watching the recent events unfold. Bravo for your piece. Advocate or not, it’s clear you genuinely care about people and want the MH community to revert to how it was, certainly how it was when I started using it more mainstream around October last year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re most welcome. As I say well written given the events on Twitter recently. Well thought out, well organised, making the points that needed made without making it personal. Hat of to you.

        Liked by 1 person

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