Putting up a selfie on Instagram seems fairly simple, right? After all, all it takes is a few minutes and clicks on your phone, and you’re done. And just like that, you open yourself up to a wide range of comments. While some might be encouraging from friends who lift you up, others may not be as pleasant. In fact, you could also open yourself up to trolling and body shaming.
In fact, body shaming is the biggest drawback of social media—especially if you have a public account. The comments can range from sarcastic and nasty to downright derogatory. Needless to say it can take a toll on your mental health.
Dr Kedar Tilwe, psychiatrist and sexologist at Hiranandani Hospital (a Fortis Network Hospital) in Vashi, Mumbai says:
The anonymity offered by social media platforms and the inherent insecurity of the ‘troll’ can sometimes combine to make a morbid virtual safe-haven for people to shed social etiquette.
This is how online body-shaming can wreck your peace of mind
Body shaming can lower your self-esteem, self-worth, and may cause a confidence crisis. Dr Tilwe also says that it can lead to depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.
Here’s how you can deal with online body shaming
1. Report them trolls
Most social media platforms have clear policies with regard to hateful content and gives option to its users to report personal attacks. So don’t away from reporting your trolls.
2. Remember, the only opinion that matters is yours
What you think about yourself and your body matters the most. And you also need to recognize the difference between ‘virtual’ and ‘real world’.
3. Reach out to family and family friends for some stress relief
Talk about the things that are bothering you with your loved ones, and also try some relaxation techniques to cope with the situation better.
4. Seek professional help if need be
Sometimes anxiety, persistent negative thoughts, depressive rumination, and lowered stress tolerance may persist despite the above-mentioned interventions. So, reach out to a mental health professional near you or enroll with support groups.
5. Stand up against trolls
While it is important to stand up for yourself, you should call out trolls when you someone else being victimized or ostracized. Doing this can take away the anonymity, which is often the body-shamer’s most effective protection.
(With inputs from IANS)