Social media has been notorious for inflaming mental health issues for years, especially for teens and young adults struggling with body positivity and self image. Seeing the highlights of someone else’s life can make you feel like you’re not doing enough or don’t have enough. One social platform seems to be giving mental health a brighter approach: TikTok. The platform is a place where mental health has been highly destigmatized and often talked about openly. It’s filled with therapists explaining complex diagnoses, clients sharing tips they’ve learned in therapy, and everyday people feeling comfortable enough to share their own stories.
From licensed therapists and counselors to TikTok stars, users all over the platform are creating a new world for mental health. Licensed clinical social worker Dr. Courtney Tracy gives the definition of high-functioning anxiety in a roleplay video, psychologist Dr. Julie Smith uses common TikTok sounds and actions to inform about the hidden signs of depression, and therapist Micheline Maalouf shares a tip for dealing with panic attacks. TikTok-ers that might not have advanced psychology degrees are also sharing about mental health. Life coach Ronnie Bloom explains how to feel your feelings in a one-on-one type video, motivational speaker Andrew Bird offers reminders to pause and be grateful, and TikTok-er Ryan Bayron shares a conversation from his first therapy session. The official TikTok account even puts out videos of stars advising users to pause their scrolling or go to bed after being on the app for a long time at night.
TikTok Therapy: Getting mental health advice solely from TikTok is referred to as “TikTok Therapy.” It’s important to know that TikTok should not be your only form of counseling.
Tips & Tricks: Some of the quick fixes found in TikTok videos may be useful for small, everyday issues, but the process of therapy/mental health counseling takes longer than a few seconds or minutes. Utilizing a counselor to help you through your own mental health journey gives you better tools that are specifically designed for you.
Licensed vs. Looking for Likes: When you’re in the TikTok Therapy world, know who is a professional and who is just looking for likes. Content creators may have useful tips and tricks, but licensed therapists are generally a better source for information.
Who to Follow: There are many TikTok-ers who are licensed therapists and counselors who also have giant followings. Explore Dr. Julie Smith, Lindsay Fleming LPC, The Shani Project, Dr. Courtney Tracy, and Dr. Kojo Sarfo for helpful, useful information.
According to Omnicore, about 50% of TikTok users are under the age of 34, and 41% of TikTok-ers are between 16 and 24. TikTok is young, and so are its users. This younger generation is gaining insight on mental health from TikTok that they may not be exposed to elsewhere. Social media, specifically TikTok, is a place where they can talk about their problems and relate to others. This makes them feel like they’re not alone and shows them that other people have the same problems as them, validating their feelings and struggles.
While licensed professionals seem to agree that TikTok should not be someone’s only form of therapy, some therapists say that it’s better than nothing. Giving someone a few tools that could help them cope with mental health issues is better than them not seeing anyone and having no information at all. It’s just important to remember to not believe everything you hear and know how to identify a good mental health resource.
Mental Health Everywhere
Whether it’s a mental health day video with self care tips, a crafty reminder to be kind to your mind, a cleaning video that normalizes mental health issues, or a mug being stamped with a beautiful poem, you’re bound to find a mental health checkpoint somewhere while scrolling through TikTok.
If you would like to connect with a Village counselor for mental health services, contact us online or call today at 1-800-627-8220. You don’t have to go it alone.
Reference: Omnicore Agency
This blog was originally published August 6, 2021