Instagram is famous for being damaging to people’s mental health, with the false perception of everyone’s life being a fairy tale unsurprisingly making many people feel inadequate with themselves. In fact, according to a study conducted in May 2017, Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health, as it creates high levels of anxiety, depression, low self-worth, envy, and greed among users and also has given a platform for cyber bullies to find their next target.
But although it has it’s bad sides, there are also a lot of good things on Instagram for your mental health. For example, the network has been instrumental in the ongoing success of online mental health advocacy in recent years. For the first time ever, mental health has began to be taken seriously thanks to the tremendous work by mental health advocates and the advocates on Instagram are playing a major part in that.
Thanks to the advocates on Instagram, people have been able to see that they are not alone in their battle with mental illness and they’re illness is more common that they could ever have imagined. They’ve been also able to connect with others who have gone through hard times with their mental health and give or get advice from them. Because of Instagram, there is more information and personal experiences with mental health available than ever before, and it has undoubtedly saved lives.
While we should recognize the bad sides to Instagram, it’s so important that we recognize the good and don’t associate it solely with the toxic content that calls the network ‘home.’ Instagram can be amazing if you follow the right people, and it’s up to you to find the people who will help you on your journey as you learn how to live the best life possible with mental illness. So, without further ado, here are 10 Instagram accounts you should be following if you seek better overall mental health.
1 Anxiety Support (@anxietysupport)
With over 101 thousand followers, Baylee Alana of Anxiety Support is one of the OGs of mental health Instagram accounts. Baylee shares refreshingly honest experiences, both the good days and the bad, with OCD and anxiety and shares advice on how best to cope when times are bad. She recently started a website called Trust me, I get it where she gives others an opportunity to share their story on their experiences with mental illness as well as having a blog section of her own.
2 Learn psychology (@_learn_psychology_)
Learn Psychology is a mental health account that creates posts on different psychological topics. Run by a cognitive neuroscientist, this account offers a unique approach in it’s discussion of mental health that separates it from the majority of mental health accounts on the platform. The page also posts weekly interviews with people with mental illnesses about their experiences with it or about other psychological topics.
3 Life by Lexi (@life.by.lexi)
Life by Lexi is a recovery account that shares her struggles with PTSD and anorexia. She describes her thoughts in the form of poetry in her captions, which makes her stand out from all other recovery accounts on the platform. She is also a contributor to Mental Gladiator Media and has her own blog @lifebylexi.blog where she writes about her past struggles and recovery in more detail.
4 Mental Health Advocacy (@mental_health_advocacy)
Mental Health Advocacy is a mental health account that shares stories from it’s followers, talks about mental health among celebrities, and shares quotes. Because it allows others to use it’s platform to share their stories, it has established a strong connection with it’s followers, and is quickly growing it’s reach on the network as it continues it’s quest to help people affected by mental illness.
5 So Bipolar (so_bipolar)
So Bipolar is an account that shares her experience with bipolar disorder. As someone who is married with kids, she talks about how her illness affects her life, as well as talking about issues many with the illness will shy away from talking about. She also has a blog you can check out at sobipolar.com.
6 Dr. Christina (dr.christina_)
Dr. Christina is a clinical psychologist who gives tips on dealing with mental illness while encouraging people to come forward to talk about mental health. She believes everyone has a part to play, both professionals and nonprofessionals alike, to raise awareness towards mental health issues so the next generation doesn’t have to feel the burden of the mental health stigma.
7 Project I Define Me (@projectidefineme)
Project I Define Me is a mental health account that features stories from people all over the world. “This is what mental illness looks like” is written in their bio, as they attempt to break the myth that mental illness has a specific face. Their message is simple, but powerful: mental illness doesn’t define us, we do. We define our struggles and victories. We define our story. Each participant wears a t-shirt with ‘mental illness’ crossed out and ‘I’ highlighted, to portray the message, and this gives the page a sense of community spirit that makes it stand out on the platform.
8 Taylor Crosby (@tlcros)
Taylor Crosby is a recovery account who updates us on her life in a refreshingly honest manner, which is so rare to see on Instagram. She is very open about her past struggles with her eating disorder and other mental illnesses, and encourages her followers not to be controlled by the mental health stigma.
9 Sexual Abuse Support (@sexualabusesupport)
Sexual Abuse Support is a page dedicated to raising awareness for sexual abuse. A rape victim herself, the owner of the account wants to raise awareness for this horrifying topic to help other victims of abuse just like her deal with their trauma.
10 Schizophrenia Support (@schizophrenia.support)
Schizophrenia Support is an account that talks openly about schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is one of the most stigmatized and misunderstood mental illnesses and this account shows what it’s really like to live with it. Schizophrenia is not what the movies portray it as, and this account works to break all the misconceptions people may have about it because of the media.
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