This is a unique video for my channel. I’d like to discuss an ongoing problem that keeps coming up in my discussions with people.
There are some massive Facebook groups out there for us “Polar Warriors.” I’m so grateful for the admins and people who donate so much time to provide a free resource like this. I’m friends with many of them and they have been a big part in helping the Polar Warrior Community grow.
I full-heartily support anyone and any resource that helps people not feel so alone. At the same time, I’m seeing a subtle, yet very negative impact these groups are having – ESPECIALLY on those who are newly diagnosed. Not all of the groups of course. It’s usually the largest ones that are a general “all-around” Bipolar group.
“With online groups and even peer-support, it doesn’t really work unless you give as much as you are receiving. How much time have you spent in these groups when you are well – offering support to others? That’s a sobering thought isn’t it? If everyone in a group needs support but no one is offering it back, it’s like the blind leading the blind. If members typically participate in these groups when they are struggling, we also see a lot of people who aren’t well offering advice to others.”
My goal with this video isn’t to rip on Facebook groups… It’s to encourage people to remember that they are representatives and ambassadors for Bipolar Disorder. What we say and do online impacts all of us, and how the world sees us. Many stereotypes and stigmas out there are fueled by our actions when we aren’t stable. Those of us seeking treatment are typically kind, loving, and considerate people the majority of the time – yet many of these social media groups capture the ugly sides of the illness. If that’s all someone sees when they come to a group with 20,000 members, they could very well assume that we’re all like that, when in reality, it’s just a few who might be unwell.
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