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Keeping It Real

by Elana Premack Sandler, LCSW, MPH
Docz Mental Health Advisory Board Member and Blogger at Psychology Today

One of the most exciting aspects of Docz is that it lets you connect with people who have similar experiences to your own - something that can be hard to do when you’re talking about mental health. 

But, having people in real life (to use the parlance of our times, IRL) who you can turn to in times of need is important, too.

 

How can you be as authentic about your experience and your questions IRL as you are on Docz and in other virtual communities?

Choose wisely: If you’re going to talk about your own experience with mental health, you don’t have to be open, honest, and truly authentic with everyone in your life. Choose to share your most important questions and struggles with those friends who have earned your trust by showing you that they love you for all of who you are, bumps and bruises included.

Create boundaries: Share the things about which you want input and feedback. (Like if you’re concerned your anxiety is affecting your relationships, that’s something you could check out with a couple friends.) Just because you start sharing parts of your experience doesn’t mean you have to involve people in all of it.

Share your successes: Friends are always happy to hear when you’re doing well. If you’ve found a medication that works, a therapist you like, or a support group that’s made a difference for you, let friends know that you’re doing better.

By talking about your experience - both on Docz and in real life - you’re helping to decrease stigma and misunderstanding about mental health challenges. Take care of yourself as you share, connect, and learn, so that you have an experience that allows you to grow and feel nurtured.

 

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