Dr Benjamin Janaway @drjanaway Psychiatrist, Writer and Science Communicator. Working on a novel. Widely published. Media enquiries via DM. RTs usually endorsements. Future Silver Fox. Jun. 11, 2019 3 min read

Realtalk social media thread:

Social media polarises us to good and bad, and makes us profile ourselves as happy when we are not.

This makes people feel bad, when they cant reach these illusions.

So lets try being real, people are not just their profiles.

Ill start

1) I am a successful doctor, but have struggled with depression and anxiety. Getting to where I am has been exhausting, but I am not defined by it or the illness. But sometimes I fear the illness could end all of it.

2) I am wrong about things, all the time. You can only be so informed about so much. I have a habit of trying to learn too much, which means I could make mistakes. I am very strict with myself on being reliable, which means underestimating myself.

3) I get alot of attention from colleagues who see me as very senior, but I realise that my calm exterior is a trained coping mechanism, developed through dealing with trauma at work and outside. Doesn't mean I don't feel it later. It can really sting.

4) I am 30 and live alone. This is not because I am a bad person or always at work (although this is part of it.) It is because i prioritise work over finding someone to be with, because the latter still scares me. It has gotten worse since I became a doctor and seen hard things.

5) I gym alot because it helps me destress. Part of it is a little for the ego, as it lets me feel more in control and moving forward. The rest is because it helps settle my mind. It amazes me how much it helps.

6) For everything I have achieved there is an element of antecedent privilege and loss. I am lucky to be where I am, but I have lost people along the way. These were my choices too. I still find ways not to blame myself.

7) I find it easier to understand people when I know their stories. I can find it hard to know exactly what people want sometimes. Sometimes I miss it completely, unless I really have time to get into the deep stuff. This makes work easier than outside of it.

8) I am deeply afraid of failing. I have been competitive for a long time, and can't give up on things. I find it hard to separate my ego and tasks, which means that although stuff gets done, its not enough. I need to work on it.

9) I find it very hard to like people sometimes. I find that we get in our way. I think that my attempts to share science and logic can help that, and get frustrated when trolls shut it down or make it about me. But they are partly right. It makes me feel better.

10) I dwell on my mistakes and losses far too much. They crop up whenever I feel low. Sometimes they can take a firm hold and it takes me a while to separate the past from who I am now, to find a lesson in it all.

11) People think I am grumpy. I am not, I'm just shy and have resting angry face. Been an issue my whole life. I can put on a show when I need to. The real me is somewhere in the show, but it feels fake.

12) People may see this thread as some kind of attention seeking or humble brag. Its both, but also a genuine attempt to let people know that we all have things in common. We should talk and understand each other more.

Sorry for the long thread, here is a random gif of Andy Samberg


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