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Too often, the void anonymity of social media is used in nefarious ways. But once in a while, the openness of social media can be used for good. Such was the case on Monday when Twitter users started using #SignsImNotFeelingWell to be vocal about mental health.
Many of the tweets with the hashtag outlined habits and thoughts that befall people when they’re not feeling 100%. People used it as an opportunity to be open and honest about the signs of declining mental health.
“I isolate myself, sleep too little, take more naps, have an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach,” one user wrote.
#SignsImNotFeelingWell i isolate myself, sleep too little, take more naps, have an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach— dana ⛄️ (@danambrez) September 9, 2019
I started a project on #PhDsurvival but still find it hard to talk about my #mentalhealth. Had a meltdown due to the stress of the final thesis writing/editing stage. All the old mental health issues triggered. Partner making me take a day off today #phdchat #phdbalance #phdlife— Sarah Masefield (@SCMasefield) August 25, 2019
#SignsImNotFeelingWell, in particular, emphasized the similarities and differences in how people experience mental health. Many users discussed symptoms like poor eating, irregular sleep, and lack of communication.
“I take an even longer shower than usual, probably because I fell asleep in there,” one user said.
#SignsImNotFeelingWell is an important tag, mine are:— ais (@tiredais) September 9, 2019
-irregular texting/lack of communication (strange for me)
-weight loss (due to not eating and stress)
-oversleeping/refusal to leave bed
-nonstop creating lists/over-planning
Since it’s Twitter, many posts contained images and GIFs, but they didn’t downplay the seriousness of the issue.
“Me tearfully running around my house, spinning and making dramatic gestures, wrapped in a blanket, to the tune of hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have, but I have it,” a user wrote.https://twitter.com/SebastianFZulch/status/1171063925141622784
For many individuals, using humor provides an easier way to talk about their struggles. The tweets also proved to be a reminder that, no matter what you’re going, you aren’t alone.
Alex is a recent graduate of the journalism school at the University of Texas at Austin. She has written for the Texas Observer, the Austin Chronicle, KUT, and ORANGE Magazine.