Why Social People May Be at More Risk for Mental Health Problems
One of things I’ve been told multiple times since I’ve started this journey of being more public about being a mental health advocate is something to the effect of this:
“I’m surprised you struggle with mental health. You seem so confident, so outgoing, it seems so contradictory, I would never have thought that you struggle with mental health.”
I’ve heard this several times so I began to thinking and reflecting.
The thing is, when I’m with people, I’m good. I don’t struggle with human interaction, I don’t struggle when I’m around others. I love being with friends, I love meeting new people, all that.
It’s the moments alone that can be the hardest for me.
And part of that has to do with the voices in my head.
Those voices can often be insecure, negative and self critical. I am often my own worst enemy and my own biggest critic.
For me, I need to continually work on changing those voices in my head to support, to not comparing, to just living and to not being so hard on myself.
As I think to the people I’ve lost in my life to mental health battles — Meg, Pat, Trevor — they were all social people.
So I think this idea that mental health doesn’t affect social people can actually be very deceiving.
I actually think in many cases because social people derive so much energy from others, they are actually at most risk for dealing with mental health issues because being alone by themselves can be so tough.
Especially in this time of being in a pandemic where we are not seeing people in person as much, I think it’s important for all of us to continue to check in with our friends and continue to do virtual meet ups.
And on an individual level, whether you’re a social person or not, to always be self-aware of the voices in your head and remember to continually balance the negative voices with the positive.