Wellbeing’s Online Editor, Flora Doble, considers the assertation that she is ‘oversharing’ when she talks about her mental health.
I like to ‘talk out’ my problems. I’ve always maintained that the best way to deal with or compartmentalise something – whether that a personal problem or a math’s equation – is to talk about it.
Not only is ‘talking it out’ an opportunity to get someone else’s opinion from a removed perspective but, also, if you want to explain something successfully, you need to approach and articulate the issue clearly and calmly, which allows you to better understand the issue yourself in its now-ordered state.
Being Wellbeing’s Online Editor has been a really rewarding experience and it’s given me the opportunity and reason to regularly write about my mental health, specifically my depression and anxiety.
However, I have been repeatedly asked if I’m ever worried about how much ‘personal information’ I have shared through the deluxe medium of Epigram articles.
‘Doesn’t it make you uncomfortable?’ I have been asked over and over again, ‘it’ being knowing that certain people, that is, mere acquaintances, are reading about my personal struggle with mental health.
To me, it’s like they think various people huddle around a computer waiting for me to upload something and then laugh hysterically at my various struggles. This probably doesn’t happen.
I don’t think I have ‘overshared’ in this section because I see talking about mental health as the purpose of this section.
To be honest, I often forget that any of my articles have the potential to reach so many people. Through Epigram and my personal Facebook, thousands could – and, amazingly, have – read my articles, including complete strangers.
I’ve received lots of lovely messages from people I never thought would see, let alone read, my work. It’s really lovely to know that so many people have read and enjoyed my content, especially when it is often so personal. I find this touching, not uncomfortable or awkward.
However, I never upload anything that I am not comfortable speaking about or sharing. I don’t see my articles as ‘oversharing’ because I don’t think anything I’ve ever said has ever been ‘too much’.
I’ve repeatedly skirted over certain topics, referring to certain periods in my life as ‘my worst time’ or ‘a particularly bad episode’ for example, and, of course, there are many things that I don’t talk about because it would neither be appropriate nor productive.
I don’t think I have ‘overshared’ in this section because I see talking about mental health as the purpose of this section. Talking about mental illness, personal and otherwise, is the best way to combat the social stigma surrounding it, nothing will ever change if people aren’t willing to talk about it.
Epigram’s recent campaign #14Conversations was in fact all about the importance of talking about mental health. I hope I’ve contributed good points to this ongoing and necessary discussion.
I would encourage anyone to write an article about their personal struggle or journey, it is highly therapeutic and a great way to reach out to people.
Of course, I am not saying share everything that’s ever happened to you, it is important to be mindful of others and the sensitive issues you may be discussing. However, if there is something you are comfortable talking about, why not! Discussion can do wonders.
What are you afraid of? That you will look weak, that people will judge you? This has not been my personal experience, I have received so much love and support for the personal topics I have decided to discuss.
Either way, I think it is better to be ‘judged’, or think you have been, than to not talk openly about something that is so important to so many people.
I would encourage anyone to write an article about their personal struggle or journey, it is highly therapeutic and a great way to reach out to people. I think that people appreciate openness and honesty, you can tell when someone is guarded even in the form of an article.
Maybe I do ‘overshare’, but how you quantify this is so personal. I don’t feel weird about what I’ve put out there and I hope other people don’t either and, if people do, it is all part of the important process of normalising discussion about mental health.
Conversation is so so important, it can save lives, even if it can be uncomfortable. Let’s keep it going.
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