If you’re on psychiatric drugs or you’re a psychiatric survivor, chances are others told your story for you in their words. Like it or not (I hope you like it), you’re going to have to retell your story in your own words, in your own way.
If you choose to do this through blogging, social media, video or any other digital approaches, having your story read, seen and/or viewed by many could be very satisfying. You may not be ready to share it so publicly yet, but once you are, there are some tools to get your story out there to the masses.
Here are some recommendations:
1. Start a blog. There are many options. I’ve used weebly, wordpress, gather, tumblr, facebook posts/notes, live journal and others.
2. Post frequently.
3. Share your blog posts on all social media sites you use including facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google plus (those are the 4 musts).
4. Share your blog posts on stumbleupon, delicious, reddit, digg, tumblr and as many other sites as you have the time and patience for. Download the ShareThis plugin to quickly and easily share on all major blogging and social media sites. Better yet, create recipes on ifttt.com so that the links you share on facebook (or your most used site) get shared on all the others that you choose. They don’t incorporate google plus or pinterest yet so you’ll have to do these by hand.
5. Include images in your blogs. Pin each one to a pinterest board.
6. Join socialbuzzclub.com where you share others’ content in exchange for being able to post your own content and have others share it. Bonus- the articles there have tons of other tips for social media marketing and getting your blog out there.
7. Tag your articles with relevant keywords.
8. Guest blog on another site. Try any blogs you love or even a friend’s blog. I occasionally publish blogs of others relevant to my site and my website gets a lot of hits, so submit to me for consideration or post in my forum and include your full name.
9. Start an email list and send your blogs/stories to the list from time to time. Mailchimp is free and allows you to collect email addresses and easily send emails to your list with embedded photos. They have templates you can save and have an option to cross post your newsletter to facebook and twitter.
10. Make friends with others who are blogging and getting their own (retold) story out there. You can support each other in your efforts and successes and give each other tips.
11. Keep writing, creating, retelling you story in whatever ways suit you and inspire you. And remember, you aren’t only doing it for yourself, but for all other psychiatric survivors and all other people.
Bonus tip: This one is my goldmine secret tip that works better than any of the others. Join facebook groups relevant to the topics you blog about, and post your blog posts in those groups. There are tons of groups related to psychiatric survivors, spirituality and pretty much any topic you can think of. Facebook sometimes recommends groups, and you can look at which groups your friends are in by hovering over “More” on their profile and clicking “Groups.”
Those are some tips for the beginning blogger, and relevant for all bloggers who are psychiatric survivors (and all other bloggers too). The crimes against us include the crime of silencing. Our First Amendment right to free speech was taken away, both directly and inadvertently by psychiatric pharmaceuticals and a mental health system that told us we aren’t the tellers of our own story, that told us we were sick, delusional, crazy, dangerous, etc.
The mental health system is in danger and the more we take back the media, the more danger it’s in. So get writing, get blogging, get sharing. Retell your story and take the above steps that appeal to you to make your blog go viral. Post the link in numerous places. The more places you have links to your blog, the better rating you will get on search engines, which means more people will find your blog if you have links to it on numerous sites.
There’s a building quality to all of this- an exponential growing that happens when you continue to take these steps over time. There will come a day when your blog will have hundreds or thousands of readers in a day with just a blog post and a click of the mouse.
There will come a day when so many of us real people are getting our stories out there that the cultural narrative reaches a tipping point and actually changes how people in distress are seen and treated. Sometimes that day seems very far away, and other times it seems like today.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
Post it here, too. http://itsok.us/
These people want to “talk about it.” Be nice to them, they’re my local friends that just need a bit of education about how to move beyond the disease model for emotional distress. Email the story to [email protected].
Thanks Corinna! I will. 🙂
Thank you, Chaya, for this information. I am getting to the point I think it would make sence to set up a blog on my iatrogenic bipolar research. But since I had iatrogenic bipolar created in me, to cover up the sexual abuse of my three year old child by a pastor and his best friend, and I do still feel the need to protect my child’s privacy.
And, of course, this is not defamation of character I’ve yet shared with many of my friends, because no one I’ve ever met, other than the doctors and people covering up the abuse of my child and the “bad fix” on my broken bone, via psychiatric stigmatization, actually thought I had a “mental illness” issue. And it’s embarrassing to tell all my friends about these crimes committed against my family by my ex-religion and doctors.
Facebook will not let one start up a Facebook page with a pseudonym. Do you know how I do that? And I did recently find an article that pointed out my ex-religion, that has recently started ordaining gay pastors, has a “wink and nod” policy of covering up all homosexual child molestation cases, just like my family is currently dealing with, by that religion. And this is something I think all ELCA Lutherans should be warned about, and I believe people should have a collection of resources on iatrogenic bipolar. Because it’s insane for a religion to welcome gay pastors, which I personally have no problem with, but also have a “wink and nod” and cover up all homosexual molestation of three year olds’ practice. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Do you have advise on how I might accomplish my goal of publishing my research on iatrogenic bipolar, and the ELCA’s crimes of covering up homosexual child abuse, while still protecting my child’s privacy?
Thanks Someone Else. You could blog anonymously with a pseudonym. I completely agree it’s important to protect your child’s privacy. How can Facebook stop you from creating a page with a pseudonym? You can create a new email address with a pseudonym and use that to create a new facebook account. Another possible option would be to create a pseudonym AND refer to the person who was abused as a friend/family friend’s child or something of that nature and conceal as many details as possible that would identify you. It certainly is a lot harder.
When blogging with your own name, you may be able to blog about certain things that just pertain to you and not your child, or speak in vague terms that don’t identify any of your child’s experiences, but just that you were in turmoil due to “something” that hurt your child. These are just some brainstorming ideas since you asked for advice, but I am sure you have the expert judgement on which would work in your particular situation.
Thanks for sharing your concerns about anonymity and privacy here. I struggle with similar things and there are things about my family I don’t write publicly, which is a bummer but just where I am at right now. So one more piece of advice when blogging publicly is to pace yourself and go as slowly as you need to. Try revealing a little bit and see how you feel, whether it feels safe. I do a lot of writing that I never share with anyone but hope to someday when I’m ready.
I am a fan of http://www.ripoffreport.com and the other consumer complaint sites because they are designed to show up on web search results for offending doctors and hospitals getting the word to alot of other victims and families of victims.
Even making a topic with a doctor or hospital name in the MIA forums will show up on search results for that doctor or hospital.
What happens is other victims start finding these reports and posting there own stories and the truth gets out.
Great idea copycat. Thanks for sharing.
Great stuff Chaya…thanks for the tips!
🙂 Thanks Jonathan.
On this site you will find some numbers you can send SMS text messages to and the messages will show up on the web.
A lot of sites nowdays use codes sent to your mobile phone to identify you. This is obviously very Orwellian and just total and complete bull.
So break free and just give them some fake phone number they can send their dirty little SMS messages to.
Hopefully these anonymous SMS text services will stay ahead of the websites using phone verification.
Sorry copy cat I might be a bit slow here, but can you clarify what messages you are sending and what the purpose is?
Sites like Facebook , Youtube , Yahoo even Craiglist are using this stupid phone verification thing for so called account “security” (that word always means less freedom/privacy one way or another)and/or to stop people from having multiple accounts.
I see this as a problem for online activism against psychiatric abuse so I posted a solution.
Oh gotcha!! Thanks Copy cat. That’s helpful.
Thats not true. The site receivefreesms.com is 100% trusted and the numbers used by send sms to the site is all number of web sms services not from people so I am ask to the owner of the blog remove this comment without nosense. Thanks.
Wonderful, Chaya! I’m definitely one of your followers. You tell your story with such heart, insight, transparency, courage, and clarity. I always so very much enjoy reading your work.
When I first published Voices That Heal on YouTube, where I tell part of my story, it took me a while to get over the fact that I would be interpreted, assessed, and evaluated. And more than likely, judged, criticized, perhaps even ridiculed. It was such a vital part of my healing to get over the opinion of others when it came to my character or how I lived my life, so I’m glad I went through all of that. Pure freedom.
I hope we are training to people to listen with their feeling hearts, rather than with their calculating brains. I think that’s been a big part of the problem in the mental health field, and in the world at large. We have forgotten how to listen with our hearts and how to see each others’ spirits. Speaking our heart’s truth will hopefully shift this, at least I’m optimistic about it.
I especially appreciated reading this:
“11. Keep writing, creating, retelling you story in whatever ways suit you and inspire you.”
To me, this is the most valuable opportunity to move ourselves forward, and where we can really take control of our lives, our health, our creativity, and our paths. It is OUR story to tell, not for someone else to impose upon us. Like nature, our stories evolve from day to day. If they don’t, we can get stuck.
I’m honored to be able to support you with this, with my own example of telling our stories from our own heart and truth. I feel a lot of appreciation for you and your inspiring message, Chaya. Thank you!
Thank you so much Alex! This comment means a lot to me. I, too, felt so scared of being criticized and scrutinized for a long time, and still can feel that way sometimes, but it is freeing, as you say, to share our stories anyway.
I think the more I share, the less scared I am, in part because I’ve gotten enough encouragement and positive feedback that I know I won’t be rejected by EVERYONE, but also because the more of my story I share publicly, the harder it is for anyone to legitimately pigeon hole me or over simplify my reality.
Do you have a place we can read you story?
Oh yes, I can relate to all that you say, here. It gets less scary and definitely validating and fulfilling, but what a reminder of our vulnerability! It’s all be so humbling, empowering, and confident-building.
Here is an article published on Mother Bear. It’s brief, I was limited to 1000 words. Hyper-links to my website and film are embedded in the text.
Voices That Heal was also solicited by http://www.cultureunplugged.com for their Spirit Enlightened film festival, and has been playing online there for a couple of months now. It was most validating for me to finally have broken out of and exclusively mental health-focused audience into a more general and diverse world-wide audience. I’m so encouraged by the path this film has been taking. I made it two years ago, so I’ve been watching it cut through a lot of density and resistance.
Here’s a 10 minute clip of VTH. I think it’s so interesting that this clip begins exactly with what you say at the start of your article. Looks like we’re on to something, here! 🙂
Sorry about typos, my fingers were flying a bit.
Also, I wanted to add that what I happily discovered is that those who resonate with my spirit are kindred, whereas those who do not are simply free to stay out of my path. Truth-speaking like this pretty much cuts through the bs, and it draws the people that you WANT to be around (those with compassion and courage), while separating us from those who I probably wouldn’t really care to be around. I let the universe make those decisions for me now, so I can relax about whether or not someone is being duplicitous with me. Really shifted my whole world for the way better.
Oh cool. I love your article and listening to your I got better video now. BTW I plan to be in the Bay Area in March, would be great to connect.
I would love to connect! However, I’m no longer in San Francisco. I’ve been living in Humboldt County, CA (just south of Cal/Oregon border) for a little over a year now. I made the transition from urban to rural, which has been transformational. I’m about 350 mi north of SF. If you were to be able to take a side trip, the Redwoods up here are breathtaking.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact me, either by phone or email. My contact info is here:
I would love to talk more, if you feel so inclined!
Oh, and thanks for mentioning the I got better vid. Here’s the link for anyone interested how I tell the story here