Patients, caregivers and even
psychologists are using blogs
and other social media to help
each other — and themselves.
BY AMY NOVOTNEY
A week after the deadly December 2012 shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, DePaul University student Erica Jellerson shut down her computer in frustration. She was upset by newspaper
readers’ online comments about the shooter, which included such phrases as
“crazy,” “psychotic” and “go to hell.”
“I remember thinking that unless you’re dealing with a mental illness
yourself, or are extremely close to someone dealing with one, you just don’t
get it,” says Jellerson.
That’s when Jellerson began her blog, To My Brother, With Love, which
chronicles her 11-year-old brother Christopher’s struggle with mental illness
and aggression. She seeks to help people understand the warning signs of
mental illness and the fact that often people try to get care and don’t have
access to it.
Jellerson is one of many who blog to process their grief about mentally ill
loved ones or to help themselves cope with mental illness by writing about
painful periods of depression or anxiety, discussing day-to-day challenges
or simply venting. Many bloggers also use these online forums to provide
resources for those who are newly diagnosed and to exchange support with
others who may be facing similar challenges.
As mental health experts, psychologists have also become avid bloggers,
writing to educate people about mental health conditions and occasionally
working through their own mental health challenges. Blogging can help