There are several reasons why I choose to maintain my anonymity on this mental illness blog.
The primary reason is to avoid hurting family members. Many of my mental illness symptoms, in particular my anxiety, are directly related to childhood events. For me to publicly identify myself while revealing facts about my upbringing would be harmful to my family members.
Even though there are benefits of adding my face and real name to the content of this blog, such as increased credibility and to support the cause for an end to the mental illness stigma, I will not do so at the expense of another’s peace of mind and privacy.
The second biggest reason I choose to maintain my anonymity is to maintain a sense of humbleness to my message. Money, power, and prestige are not my goals. Sharing what it is like to have mental illnesses and what I do to strive for healing and peace are my goals, with the hope to inspire others struggling with similar issues.
My greatest wish is that no one ever feels like they are unique. People need to know that they are not the only ones who feel the way they do, that someone else understands how they feel and has gone through what they are going through.
Another reason I choose to maintain my anonymity is because just as I would not announce at my job or highschool reunion or in a restaurant, whether it be to a large group of people or just one or two persons I didn’t know well, that I have a mental illness, why should I do so online?
I tell those whom I am close to, to those whom I trust, when the time is appropriate and when I believe it would be helpful to the situation. Anything beyond this is not necessary for me.
This is what works for me. It may be the same, or different, for you. What are your thoughts on online anonymity and mental illness?
I write under an alias, though my co writers know my real name. Its not easy to speak out about our real problems, in particular mental illness. I could go on and on about how it has affected generations of my family, and to this day, its lasting effects continue. Rather than dwell on that, I seek to write about the worlds i create in my mind, the places where my imagination and creative self runs free, as opposed to the real me, that keeps much of my childhood locked away in a box deep in the back of my mind.
I stay anonymous because I’m afraid that someone I know will find my blog and then judge me for all that I reveal on there. Plus I am also a student OT so don’t really want to have my blog content associated with me.
I remain anonymous so that I can be completely honest…it is the only way for me to heal and help others.