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Mental Health Advice Stress and Anxiety

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Influencers’ Mental Health Advice with a Grain of Salt

By: Kristina Murr

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Have you taken mental health advice from influencers? In the age of social media, influencers have become the new celebrities, shaping trends and influencing decisions in various aspects of life. From fashion and beauty to fitness and mental health, influencers share their experiences and insights, often presenting themselves as experts in these fields. While their impact is undeniable, it’s crucial to approach their advice on mental health with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Influencers may have a passion for a specific mental health topic or want to spread awareness about an experience so others feel less alone. While they may have good intentions, keep in mind that a lot of them do not have the education or qualifications marking them as a mental health expert.

Individual Variability on Mental Health Advice

Mental health is a deeply personal and individual experience. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Influencers may share their mental health routines, self-care practices, or coping mechanisms, but it’s important to recognize that these strategies may not universally apply.

Keep in mind that factors such as personality, background, and the severity of mental health issues vary widely.

Influencers are Not Mental Health Professionals

Influencers, no matter how well-intentioned, are not mental health professionals (most of the time). While they may share personal anecdotes and experiences, their advice should not be a substitute for professional guidance or therapeutic techniques.

Mental health often requires personalized interventions from trained experts. If you’re facing mental health challenges, seeking advice from a qualified mental health professional is the best course of action.

Selective Storytelling from Influencers

Influencers have the power to select and present certain aspects of their lives to the public. This selective storytelling can create an incomplete picture, giving followers a skewed perception of an influencer’s mental well-being. It’s important to remember that what is showcased online is only a fraction of their reality, and there may be struggles and setbacks that remain undisclosed.

Creating Unrealistic Expectations with Mental Health Advice

In the pursuit of relatability and engagement, influencers may inadvertently perpetuate societal pressures and standards related to mental health. Sharing only positive experiences or quick fixes for issues such as depression and anxiety can contribute to the misconception that overcoming mental health challenges should be quick and straightforward.

This unrealistic expectation can be harmful, especially for individuals who may be dealing with more complex issues.

Marketing and Sponsorship

In the world of influencers, marketing and sponsorship agreements can sometimes compromise authenticity. Endorsements and collaborations may affect the content influencers share, including their perspectives on mental health.

There’s a potential conflict of interest that may exist when influencers promote certain products or services while giving mental health advice.

There are things that you can do to validate not only the creator but any mental health advice they’re sharing. Those ways include:
  • Review the creator’s qualifications. Take note of whether they are licensed therapists or a medical professional of some sort.
  • Review their videos to see if their marketing is a specific product or solution where they can gain commission.
  • Do your research on them outside of social media. A quick Google search of the creator’s name can give you more information on who they are, what they do, etc.

Recent Studies Show…

A recent study evaluated 500 TikTok videos with mental health hashtags and found that less than 10% of those users had actual mental health qualifications. That means that over 90% of them are giving mental health advice without licenses or clinical qualifications.

While influencers can be a source of inspiration and motivation, remember that they are individuals with their own set of challenges and experiences, and what works for them may not necessarily be suitable for everyone.

Seeking professional guidance, maintaining a critical perspective, and understanding the limitations of online personas are essential steps in navigating mental health advice provided by influencers. With these steps, you empower yourself to make informed decisions that prioritize your unique well-being.

If you are looking for professional guidance on mental health, contact us today to find out more about individual counseling and therapy for mental health.

For more information on mental health, visit https://adaa.org.

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