I have a private Instagram account which is used for the sole purpose of documenting my recovery from different mental illnesses. There are thousands of accounts just like mine, and we are called the ‘recovery community.’
But there is one thing that needs to be addressed about this ‘community’ and that is people becoming obsessed with how many times they have been in hospital. Im not talking about those who write ‘trying to recover in the community after a 2 year admission’ or ‘currently inpatient’ because those are cool, but it is not rare for you to stubble across an account and their bio to look like this
‘hospital x38 inpatient x64 sectioned x193’
This is a major problem. It baffles me why anybody would want to boast about how many times they have been in hospital. It is not some honourable badge for your to wear with pride. Being in and out of hospital is painful and horrific and deeply upsetting to everyone around you. Why would you want to promote how many times that has happened? How do you even know how many times it has happened? Do you all keep a check list or something? I have no idea how many times I have been in hospital because IT DOES NOT MATTER.
This is not a competition. It literally does not matter one single bit if you have been in hospital 10 times and someone else has been in 12. It doesn’t matter if you have never been into hospital before. None of it matters. Do you really think anybody cares if you’ve been inpatient 20 times? What are you trying to prove? That you must be really sick? Well excuse my language but that is bullshit.
VALIDITY DOES NOT COME FROM A CHECKLIST OF HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS.
Say it with me!!
Validity does not come from a checklist of hospital admissions. Your illness is valid whether you’ve been sectioned 13 times or 0. YOUR ILLNESS IS VALID. People seem to have this notion that if you have been inpatient or in hospital or sectioned a certain amount of times then you are ‘worse’ than others. There are two things wrong with that. The first being the need to be ‘worse’ than others. WHY?!?! Why would you want to be more mentally ill than somebody else? Surely you would want to be better than others? Why do we have this mentality of needing to be the worst? IT IS NOT A COMPETITION. Secondly, I know people who have attempted suicide once and were admitted to inpatient straight away. I also know people who attempt suicide weekly and have never been inpatient. It is all dependant on your local mental health team. It has nothing to do with who is sick and who is not.
I wish we could all get over this whole ‘my mental illness is worse than yours’ crap, because it is tiring, it is draining and it makes people feel like their illnesses are not as valid. I personally haven’t been in hospital for 3 months now, and that should be something to be majorly proud of, but thanks to Instagram instead of being proud it just makes me feel like my illness is not valid. This is what these bios do.
It took years for people to finally realise that putting lowest weights in bios was stupid, I just hope it doesn’t that that long for people to realise how ridiculous this is.