Mental illness is, unfortunately, seen as a topic no one is willing to talk about. Even in the 21st century, people still run away from it. Because of this, those who are suffering are afraid to share their problems openly. They fear being mocked and judged, so they keep carrying the burden alone, isolated, which only furthers the illness.
However uncomfortable it might be at times, getting things off your chest can be really helpful. Additionally, spreading the word about what it is really like and the possible dangers will help to destigmatize mental illnesses. Basically, the more people who are aware, the better the chances of finding help and adequate support.
Vlogging is a viable tool for discussing and coping with mental illness
Involving a great number of people is key in order to fight misconceptions about depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), schizophrenia, or any other mental illness. What these misconceptions do is destroy people’s willingness to seek help, as well as their belief that there is any help available at all.
It’s important to get people to understand that mental health is something a significant portion of the population has problems with, and that it is something that has to be talked about, understood, and treated appropriately.
Vlogging can actually help you improve your mental health, cope with all the related issues, and even help others to live happier lives, and there are people who are already vlogging about this with great success. Here are some of the benefits of vlogging on this topic and a few tips on how to get started.
Speaking about your problems makes it easier to deal with them
Opening up to anyone, or the whole world if you are a vlogger, can be a huge help. By saying some things out loud, you begin to actually deal with them. When you say something, you acknowledge its existence. Also, you start crystallizing your thoughts, which enables you to make the first step towards getting better.
Through vlogging, you not only make it possible for yourself to heal, but you also become an inspiration for others. For instance, if you speak up about self-harm or depression, others suffering the same way will understand you and know that they are not alone in this. Perhaps it will encourage them to seek help or to start openly talking about it and expressing themselves in a creative manner. You can get some things off your chest, and offer a helping hand to someone in need.
You will build a community of people with similar problems and a strong support group
People that would watch your vlog would most likely be others struggling with mental health issues. Whether it is to support you or to try and help themselves, they would be there for you. And, as more and more viewers come along, you will build a strong community with them.
For example, you will communicate with them through your videos, comments, or perhaps build an even deeper relationship by meeting up in real life. The last option could result in a support group with regularly scheduled meetings. If you are feeling really ambitious, you could start an official organisation that would deal with mental health issues.
Spreading awareness and helping others will give you a sense of purpose
Once you make an improvement within yourself, you will feel a lot better and a lot healthier. Helping people around you will give you a sense of usefulness and purpose. This purpose will bring you further into the world of vlogging. In a way, you will become a spokesperson for mental health. This will make you fight harder and try to get your life together.
And, the more you try, the better you will become at it. Spreading awareness by actually talking about an issue, dispelling myths, and teaching people how to cope is immeasurably more helpful than wearing a bracelet or sharing an image on Facebook.
If you are indeed serious about this, and willing to try it, there are some actionable steps you need to take. They can be both easy and hard at times; the key here is to never give up, to never stop. Continuing with your project when you are feeling as if nothing is going your way is crucial. Even when criticism comes, you should fight it and keep doing what you love.
Here are some of the steps you will need to take.
1. Get started on YouTube
Getting started as a vlogger is super easy. You just need the right equipment — a decent DSLR camera, mic, a basic lighting setup, and a YouTube channel. Also, think of a plan. How many times do you want to vlog and what do you want to say exactly? More importantly, choose a good name for your channel and keep it up to date. Lastly, when you post a video, share it on other social media platforms to get the word out. Promotion is very important if you want to be heard and known.
2. Turn streams of consciousness into coherent scripts
If you want to have a good-quality program, you should think of daily tasks. Having a daily theme would be a nice way to start. Perhaps you could have daily or weekly diary entries on your vlog. Moreover, you could answer questions from your followers at the end of each video. Having a quality script will attract viewers. You should also be talking about relevant things, such as how you coped with your personal mental health issues and how you overcame your problems.
3. Engage your audience
As mentioned, engaging your audience through a question and answer segment is the best way to do it. You can have them ask questions or even share their experiences. You can also answer them directly in the comment section, which is more immediate and a lot easier. Additionally, you can request topics to talk about. This way, you address your audience’s needs.
4. Deal with criticism and trolls
When you are in the public eye, especially as an Internet personality, you will constantly be under scrutiny. Unknown people will criticise you, both in good and bad ways. Even worse, as you reach more people, the infamous internet trolls will flood your comment section.
Unfortunately, their words can be hurtful and mean, but you should not let them get to you and bring your spirit down. If you decide to answer them, you should do it in a specific way. It is crucial that you do not answer in a hateful way. You should be humours and calm. Try to write something funny or even sarcastic. Of course, a great tactic is to simply ignore them and ban people who are being abusive. They will go away eventually.
Not everyone has the courage to openly discuss mental health, but the worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings bottled up and let them eat away at you. We are social beings and we need to talk to others about our problems. Not only does this help us cope, but it also provides others in a similar position with some valuable insight and teaches those who don’t have these problems about what it’s really like.
Vlogging is a great outlet, a great way to build a community and share experiences, and a great way to spread awareness about a topic that very few people actually understand or are ready to openly talk about.