Totally Mental: Trendy Instagram Account Brings People in a Dark Place Hope for a Brighter Future
Totally Mental was created in February of 2016 as a place to get real about mental health by sharing the details of my own experiences and encouraging others via bright-colored graphics.
I have anxiety and depression. I was first diagnosed with clinical depression my freshman year of college. Moving away from home and starting college escalated my depression to the point that I could no longer ignore. When I finally got help, I saw a therapist and psychiatrist through my school. Since then, I have spent years fighting to find a therapist and medication that work for me. Throughout my own struggles, I learned that everyone has mental health and we aren’t alone in the never-ending journey of mental health.
I hope Totally Mental shows others with mental illness that they are not alone and that feeling better is possible. I also hope I can show people who don’t experience mental illness themselves what it is really like, that everyday people have mental illness, and that everyone – including themselves – have mental health.
Totally Mental has been a great place for me to turn to in my dark times. It started as a way to get my feelings out, but it turned into so much more than just a form of expression. This Instagram account was a gateway into an incredibly supportive community of positive, beautiful souls. When I am experiencing negative emotions, I see it as an opportunity to share with others. Totally Mental has forced me to engage in my mental health everyday, not just when I have panic attacks or extreme depression. Paying attention to what I’m feeling everyday is key to actively taking care of my mental health and has allowed me to share more vulnerably with others.
Every time I open up, I am met with so much support and responses telling me that my vulnerability helped someone feel less alone or know it’s not their fault. Since the first time I received a DM like this, I screenshot every message and save it to a folder titled “Why” to remind me why I do what I do.
There is an amazing and supportive community online, specifically Instagram, for mental health support. It can be difficult to find at first, but searching hashtags and just engaging with one or two instagram accounts that you really resonate with will open up the door to so many more. It’s all about what you put in. If you are just following and “watching” from the sidelines, you might not get as much out of it. But if you are commenting, direct messaging, and reposting people you connect with, you will create real relationships.
Ultimately, I hope that Totally Mental gives people in a dark place hope for a brighter future. If you want a little light in your day or want to help spread it to others, find me @totally.mental on Instagram and shoot me a DM to add to my folder.
Check out Hannah’s blog at totallymentalblog.com!