-Joshua Landers, Kew Gardens, NY
Answer: Blogging and talking online about personal and general mental health issues has become increasingly common. The reason why is because it provides an outlet for people to express their feelings and “get it off their chest”. It is a valuable tool that has helped many people cope with otherwise overwhelming feelings and situations. Additionally, finding like-minded people online often helps people deal with the stigma surrounding mental illness.
If your brother says that blogging and talking online is helping him; then it probably is. The stigma surrounding mental illness is not limited to the person with the diagnosis but also often includes family and friends. It sounds like at this point your brother is more comfortable with discussing mental illness than you are. This is not surprising when you consider that he is receiving more support than you are. I would recommend trying out a family support group in your area. National Alliance onMental Illness (NAMI), Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), and many other local community and religious organizations have these groups that help family members cope with and support someone living with a mental illness.