It’s 2020 and the prevailing mainstream narrative regarding mental health tells us that emotional suffering is abnormal. That life should be consistently comfortable, exciting, and adventurous, just like that Instagram influencer who so brazenly exhibits their perfect shiny existence. And if your life is anything but this, there must be something wrong with you.
This mindset appears to be something of an epidemic these days; to always look okay and avoid suffering at all costs. The problem with this is it just is not possible – loss, grief, sadness, guilt, anger (the list goes on) are all normal and unavoidable parts of the human condition. In fact, the more we try to avoid this suffering, the more we inadvertently increase our internal struggle, all the while presenting a happy but false façade to the rest of the world. The less we talk about what’s truly and authentically going on for us, the harder it becomes to connect with others and find real meaning in life.
I, alongside Dr Nataly Gibson and Dr Kirsty Alderton, created the YouTube channel Psychiachix as an all-female psychiatrist team to address this growing millennial problem. We discuss and tackle difficult to talk about subjects (like masturbation and trauma), so others have the courage to speak out about their own thoughts and feelings. We hope to empower watchers to feel okay about their own inner turmoil, and to connect with other people around them – because when we share our pain, we are suddenly not so alone with it.
Psychiachix also hopes to address feelings of shame that may come hand in hand with seemingly taboo thoughts. It’s not unusual to experience bizarre and intrusive thoughts every now and again, from incest to murder. This does not mean you are a bad person, or that you’re going to act on these thoughts – far from it, they can pop into our minds for no reason at all really! The shame these thoughts can leave us with however can be damaging to our mental health, especially when we judge ourselves and potentially even isolate ourselves from others. So let’s normalise it.
Like Nutritank, we believe in looking at the whole picture when it comes to mental health. Each individual is a complex myriad of varied life experiences, and we cannot be minimised to a simple diagnosis or a pill. Just as lifestyle plays an important part in our wellbeing, so does the societal context within which we all exist. Lifetimes of social conditioning and automatic cognitive bias undoubtedly shape the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us.
Join the Psychiachix team as we talk about the things most people tend to avoid. Because when we find the strength to speak up and other people empathise, shame no longer has power over us. We realise we are all alike; we all suffer, and no one is alone with that. We are all born and we all die, and man does a lot of weird shit happen in the interim.
Watch and subscribe to Psychiachix