Health Real Issues

Are YouTubers helping to break the stigma on mental health or is it just an act?

As a society we are being more open to talking about mental health and the issues surrounding the stigma behind it. But are social media influencers and YouTuber's helping the cause or just jumping on the bandwagon?

The Growing Up Guide camera youtube video film vlogger

There was always this ideal life persona that a lot of YouTubers portrayed for a long time. That 20 minute video you would watch always portrayed the best of someones day, the good parts the fun moments. I

t’s very rare that they would feature someone recovering from a panic attack or talking about a depression episode.

It’s not until the past couple of years that the whole talk around Mental Health got opened up.

More people are speaking out about their experience with mental health issues. With vloggers featuring the highs and lows of their lives. It brings into question is it all to raise awareness or are there some people who mention it just because of everyone else.

In society 1 in 6 people suffer from anxiety. With the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression increasing it isn’t a rare thing to find anyone who has to deal with this on a daily basis.

There have been so many influencers that first started talking about mental health allowing more people to open up.

Now in today’s YouTube world there are countless videos on mental health and dealing with mental health issues. It’s refreshing to see more people opening up.

In 2012 Zoella expressed her struggles with anxiety and does regular updates on how her panic attacks and day to day life is.

By 2014 she had become a digital ambassador for the charity Mind which gives information on anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Talking through treatment and symptoms and people’s personal experiences it was refreshing to see a YouTuber get on board with this.

Just last year popular youtube Daniel Howell became the ambassador for YoungMinds UK – a charity focused on improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

After suffering with depression and making a video explaining his experience with Depression on WorldMentalHealthDay Daniel opened up more about his mental health and encouraged young people to seek help.

But one influencer who has taken a more relaxed approach to raising awareness for mental heath issues is Keira Rose.

She’s been very open about her experience with Dermatillomania; an impulse-control disorder, in which the skin is repetitively picked, often resulting in wounds.

She has openly mentioned her experience with mental health issues through her casual videos. From getting ready with me vlogs, to story times, she has incorporated her mental health struggles into who she is. Rather than treating it like a separate issue she’s brought into her style of videos.

After seeing so many youtubers sharing their struggles and opening up about their experiences I came across a thread on Reddit discussing why so many Youtubers suffer from Anxiety or Depression.

It really annoyed me and got me thinking. Throughout the discussion users commented on the increasing number of influencers who just randomly appear to suffer from mental health issues.

Mental health issues aren’t easy for a lot of people to speak about and it can seem like a new page of someones life when someone first opens up about their experience.

For me personally I kept it quiet and to myself for many years before opening up to friends and family let alone my blog. But it’s refreshing to see the positive feedback I’ve had after sharing my experience.

For a YouTuber, especially daily vloggers, it must be daunting opening up about this and having it being attached to your daily life.

With some comments being violent and personal, it must be hard to open up and not expect numbers of comments calling you out or noticing changes in your mental health and how you present yourself.

The daunting side of expressing and talking about your mental health can lead a lot of content creators to take breaks.

Blogger Gabriella, aka VelvetGh0st, has opened up about her issues with mental health and weight related issues and frequently takes time off of social media and YouTube to deal with day to day life.

It can be scary especially for those with a huge following to keep up an appearance and present your mental health the best way you can without harming or affecting others suffering with mental health issues.

Not everyone wants or should have to show you every second of how their mental health affects them.

Share your thoughts on influencers and mental health in the comments and whether you think they are helping the matter or adding to the stigma.

If you feel the need to talk to anyone about your mental health then please contact the Samaritans on their free hotline: 116 123

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