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People Are Sharing Their Mental Health Journey on Twitter to Fight Stigma

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A viral trend making its way around Twitter aims to destigmatize mental illness thanks to people sharing their experiences with mental health.

While it’s unclear where it started, people have been sharing the details of their mental health journey under the banner of “destigmatizing mental illness.” Tweets then include their name, diagnosis and a little about the treatments they find helpful or how their mental health has affected their job or schooling.

The number of tweets from people who experience mental illness serves as a powerful reminder that mental health impacts millions of people around the world. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 19% of people in the United States struggle with mental illness in any given year. As of 2018, only about 43% of those receive treatment. Stigma is one barrier to care.

“We struggle with the symptoms of our disability and then we also are challenged by the way society stereotypes us,” wrote Mighty contributor Alice Pirola, adding:

For instance, if we isolate ourselves because of depressive episodes, it does not help us in our healing. That’s the time that we need to reach out to those around us for help in pulling through the rough times. I know because I used to isolate and be fearful of what people would think or say if I told them what I was going through. What I found, however, is that people are more often willing to help and be there for you during those times of need.

One powerful way to combat mental health stigma, which Pirola also emphasized, is to speak openly to let others know they aren’t alone. That’s exactly what people have been doing on Twitter.

Here’s what people shared on Twitter to help destigmatize living with mental illness:

What’s been your experience with mental health? Share below!

Originally published: February 13, 2020
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