Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Like, reaction & validation: how social media impacts my illness


People who suffer from BPD rely on social groups for safety and security. When someone with Borderline has a secure network around them, the more they feel safe and loved. But imagine not feeling safe on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram? Imagine putting your real self out there on these platforms and getting attacked/made fun of? 

Last year I resorted to Facebook to reach out during a self mutilation episode. During the time my phone was broken (which no one knew/took into account that that could be a reason why I went to Facebook). I was having visions of going to the kitchen and grabbing the knife from out the draw to hurt myself. I didn't go into detail about how severe the episode I was having was. I simply put up a status saying 'can someone come over, I'm really not okay'. Majority of the response I had was positive, but then there was a lot of negativity eg: 'take yourself to hospital' 'call lifeline'. This is why people need to be more considerate and it should of been okay for me to be real and honest in a world that is driven by social media. I knew I would get a response straight away as everyone is always flicking through their news feeds. 

Then comes triggers. Because borderlines are so highly sensitive, if they see something on social media that highly offends them such as things mocking mental illness, people making status's that are racially driven and a whole list of other things; a borderline can be triggered into an episode. A borderline can also feel frustrated if they personally know someone or a truth behind something and it's being presented another way on social media. 

Borderlines are also severly impacted when they have digs aimed at them. Another term for this is cyber bullying. In the past I have been on accounts were I know something is aimed at me or someone makes a slight joke about my blog and it really impacts me negatively. I am quite humours and can make fun of myself, but when someone you love and a social network you were a part of mocks you and all the stuff you are doing to try change the stigma around BPD and mental illness, that can make you shut off. That can send you into an episode and people don't understand the dangers of that. 

Abandonment issues are a huge symptom of BPD. So any slight sign of rejection- blocking, hidden friend request or a read message that isn't responded to, can really impair someone who is mentally ill. Someone who is in therapy and having dbt can understand to not take it personally and that is their issue, but an undiagnosed or a BPD when they are severly ill will take it to heart. 

If someone upsets us in real life and over whelms us, we will resort to blocking them. Due to being impulsive we will do it straight away instead of assessing the situation. If I have a fight with a friend or sister in the past I have blocked them straight away. But that isn't real life, you can't just block out emotions and fix them because you have done it on a phone or computer. 

I want to live in a world where I can be myself online and as well as real life without getting mocked, attached, put down and my feelings are disregarded. Most days I won't be scared to post something about suicide or my illness, but other days I live in fear about the opinions of others. I know the people who take into account my daily struggles and treat me with respect. But I won't hide myself from the social media world. I'm not ashamed of who I am anymore. 

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