By: Sam. Me! Hello, hi.
It conditions people to accept it as a state of being and suggests we are powerless to do anything about it.
We should not be telling vulnerable communities that suicidality is an acceptable norm.
They were WRONG.
I was misdiagnosed & not getting proper support. Today, that “song” is silence.
But blanket statements that suggest suicidality is forever are leading very vulnerable people to believe there isn’t hope or help for them.
It’s irresponsible. Stop it.
I see this in survivor advocacy communities.
And worst of all, many folks with PDs are actually more likely to be victims of abuse than perpetrators.
We owe it to survivors living with these disorders, if nothing else, to ensure they have access to support.
The English language is vast. Be thoughtful.
For you, it didn’t. For someone else, it might.
You can be honest about your experience without assuming it will be the same for someone else.
(This exempts treatments that are legit dangerous, though.)
You cannot make blanket statements about a form of therapy because ONE clinician on ONE platform didn’t work for you.
You really shouldn’t say, “Online therapy is such a waste. Steer clear for sure.”
Similarly, with any review, be realistic about scope and the way you present your thoughts.
Otherwise, you could steer people away from something that could truly help them.
Not everyone has money, transportation, insurance, or access to culturally competent care.
Please don’t forget this when you talk about mental health.
All while advocates were demonizing online therapy, bc they somehow assumed that everyone had a choice between in-person and virtual therapy.
Not everyone has choices.
The DSM is like a key that opens doors to certain kinds of treatment and information.
There’s a reason we’re on the fifth version.
So please don’t position it as the final word on what a disorder does and doesn’t look like.
We can talk about the DSM without positioning it as a higher authority.
It supplements our growing knowledge of mental health. It doesn’t represent the breadth of that knowledge by any stretch.
Bear with me on this last one.
What does this mean to you?
There are a lot of people self-identifying as advocates, and yet when they share about their struggles, they don’t have any consideration of impact.
You are advocating. For what, for whom, and why?
AND: if you do so in a public space, remember that when you call yourself an advocate, you are asking people to trust your perspective.
You can and you should ALSO be honest about what your intentions in doing so are.
I’ll give you an example.
“This is what OCD is really like.”
“I was misdiagnosed. Here’s my story.”
When you share your experiences as an advocate, ask yourself:
1. Am I speaking on behalf of myself or my community, and why?
2. How will a struggling reader receive what I am saying?
Is it fair to take that point of view? It could be. Be intentional, inclusive, & responsible if you do.
I could even weave both concepts together, as long as I am thoughtful about the language that I use.
That really scares me.
And I want them to do it responsibly. Know when to speak from experience, and when to speak with authority — and know your intentions behind each.
What are you offering them? What is the value of what you’re sharing? What is its impact?
“My abuser had unaddressed borderline disorder that made it especially toxic for me” is different from “people with BPD are all abusers.”
“Here are options if you have insurance and here are options if you don’t” is different from “everyone should get this one particular thing.”
Openness. Nuance. Inclusion. Thoughtfulness.
If you are a mental health advocate, remember who you’re advocating for.
There is value in sharing your experiences, but not if it negatively impacts someone else’s recovery.
Please tag some advocates for me to follow that you think are doing a stellar job & share what you like about them! There are so many out there that I’m sure I’d love to connect with.
🎉 Cheers the folks doing the good work: