Being Bipolar Online - Tips for Staying Sane

September 23, 2011 Natasha Tracy

If you've been hanging out in the mental health corners of the web for longer than about a day, you've probably seen it - mental illness bashing. Mental illness, mental health, psychopharmacology, doctor, therapy and other-related-topics bashing.

It's extremely common and extremely hurtful and destructive. But it's the wild and woolly web, and that sort of nastiness happens in the jungle. Here are some tips for not letting other people's nastiness get to you.


Yes, I know it's not politically correct to say, but I would suggest that people who attack others or who spread messages of hate or stigma are idiots. You can call them, "people with whom you disagree" if that makes you feel better.

I have much to say about these people, however, for our purposes, let us just say that these people have strong anti-psychiatry or anti-psychology leanings for whatever their reasons and they choose to express their views in ways that hurt others.

Reasoning with Idiots Doesn't Work

Look, when someone proposes a viewpoint that is completely irrational, anti-science and conspiracy-laden, a logical retort isn't going to help you. Here's an example,

"All meds are evil. They make people worse."

"Actually, I have been taking meds quite successfully for five years and owe my life to them."

"You only think that because you have been duped by the pharmacy industrial complex and your so-called doctor."

See. Not helpful. Because the idiot isn't looking for a discussion, they are looking to espouse - to yell their point of view anywhere they can.

Unfollow and Unfriend Idiots


So you have to do the only rational thing and unfollow them. Believe me, if these people are on your timeline they will bait you and make you mad and do whatever they can to drag you down into their pit. Don't let them. Make them disappear. It's what the unfollow button was built for.

Delete Idiots

Similar to unfollowing, take control over what others say to you and delete it. Someone comes to your blog and writes a bunch of nasty hate? Delete it. They write nasty things on your Facebook wall? Delete it. There is no reason on the planet why you have to let nasty, irrational people hijack your place online. They can be nasty and hateful elsewhere. There's a whole internet for that. They can poison someplace else.

Ignore Idiots

If you can't delete them from your world, you can still ignore them. Don't look them up. Don't answer them. Just leave them alone. They are just looking for your reaction and if you deprive them of that, they will find someone new to harass. Trust me.

Remember, Hate Isn't About You

And remember, no matter how nasty they are, or how personal they try to make it, it isn't about you, it's about them. People who judge you and spew hatred aren't doing it because of anything you did, they are doing it for their own, personal reasons. So the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Because if they hurt you, then hate and stigma win. And we can't let that happen.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2011, September 23). Being Bipolar Online - Tips for Staying Sane, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Ilene Bogle
December, 10 2011 at 7:28 pm

My god this is best thingi will use it for my sitekeep it up

September, 28 2011 at 7:27 pm

I take comfort in the fact that I know when my treatment is working and when it isn't. I don't care what the "anti" people think. I know the truth. We (and by that I mean the people who benifit from various forms of treatment) don't need the "anti" people to tell us about the big conspiracy. We know that there is benifit from the treatment and will continue with it. Their fantancy with never be our reality!

Natasha Tracy
September, 25 2011 at 2:32 pm

There is a big difference between saying anti-therapy for _me_ and just "anti-therapy." And there's a big different between being suspicious of pharmacological companies and just thinking they're evil and no one should take their medications.
I'm very clear about saying the people that I'm talking about aren't just people "with whom I disagree" but they are those that batter others with their opinion which they assert as fact. Anyone can reasonably disagree. But many people aren't reasonable in the least.
And no, I don't think people who spread fear and hate and attack people deserve much more than "idiot." I don't believe political correctness needs to protect those people.
Personally, I don't mind differing opinions at all. I do mind how people choose to express those opinions.
- Natasha

Pam Franklin
September, 25 2011 at 1:32 pm

I AM anti-therapy, for me. If it works for others, I think that is great. But it doesn't work for me, and my saying that is in no way denigrating those who love therapy.
And I am suspicious Big Pharma. That isn't to say I don't see the value of medication. I have taken an anti-depressant for years, and since my bipolar diagnosis, drugs have been added, taken away, different drugs added, and so on. I will probably be on medication the rest of my life. That doesn't mean that I don't recognize that Big Pharma is in the business of making money more than it is in being benevolent.
Don't you think calling people who disagree with you idiots is rather counterproductive?
I may not always agree with what you write, but I would never delete, unfollow, or unfriend you.

September, 25 2011 at 1:29 pm

You're right. Every time I've encountered this, for whatever reason, the other person already hated their idea of me before they knew anything about me. Besides, just because I suffer from a mental illness doesn't mean they're not crazy. I usually keep that bit to myself.

Liz Farrell
September, 24 2011 at 2:07 pm

This is outstanding, and should be read and followed by everyone - mental illness or not. This is true, it works, and I can vouch for this 100 percent. Thanks for writing this - with such clarity.

Alistair McHarg
September, 24 2011 at 12:41 pm

Wonderful advice, Natasha, and much needed by our tribe. So often we are crippled by feelings of being "less than" - so we do not fend off unacceptable behavior. Your advice is empowering. We do not need to fight every time, but it is important to protect yourself and your mental health at all times. When you get bad, destructive energy from a person - sometimes the best thing is to cut them loose to become a better, wiser and kinder person on somebody else's dime.

September, 23 2011 at 11:00 am

Wow, you just wrote down in a short version my last 6 months and another 6 months from 2 yrs ago.
Natasha you saved my sanity, really. I am not at all the one who says get lost, piss off etc. I apply to common sense, which seems to be not so common. Now I can go to sleep with peace , knowing I made the right choice
Wish you a happy, fun-time, relaxing, loving and kind weekend

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