Monday, 18 September 2017
Mental Health Mondays #12 : Mental Health and Messenger
What I want to discuss is how to be sensitive to your friend's wellbeing when you need someone to vent to, specifically through messaging platforms e.g Facebook. I know that it can be really difficult when you've had something happen, you're mega stressed or you just really need your friend's opinion about something not to just jump head first into an online rant at them, but when your friend is something who struggles with mental health issues it's important to try and check in with them before you do so. A simple "Is it alright if I chat to you about something?" or a "How are you, I need your thoughts :)" is sufficient enough to give them a chance to say "I'm really sorry I don't feel good I'm not sure I can be much help right now." because regardless of how bad your day has been you don't want to make your friend feel more unwell without realising it - right?
Personally, it's not that I don't want to help out my friends, but on numerous occasions I've been struggling hugely with my own thoughts etc and then had people offload on me without even a real hello and it make things really difficult. Also, not only is it difficult for the individual who is receiving the message but chances are they won't be able to really reply and help you out that much either if they aren't in a good state of mind so it isn't that beneficial for either party!
In my opinion, this is a really easy thing to change to ensure that you're looking after your friend and showing them you value them and that it's important to you that they're comfortable with the conversations you have.
The other thing that you may want to consider is the time of your message, I for one have times which I determine "not good" mostly anytime after midnight and before about 5am. Some people may not have the same nighttime triggers that I do but it's worth checking that if you know your friend isn't a night person (or indeed if there is a different time the aren't good with) that you don't dump stuff on them when you know they're about to sleep, or if you really need to chat just apologise to them beforehand and let them know that is is okay if they can't talk right now.
I know that these two things won't be applicable to every single situation and there will be times that the conversation just can't wait, for your sake or your friend's, but it is definitely worth considering next time you find yourself worked up and looking to turn to someone for guidance.
Do you agree with what I've said? Or do you think I'm being too selfish and we should just grin and bear it for our friends? I want to know so leave me a comment!