Kim Kardashian West Explores Mental Health and Social Media on New HLN Show
Health and Wellness

Kim Kardashian West Explores Mental Health and Social Media on New HLN Show

(Image: Dr. Janet Taylor, BE's Stacey Tisdale, and CNN/HLN's Christi Paul)

BlackEnterprise: It feels like the conversation around mental health is becoming more mainstream— there is less stigma attached to it.  What are your impressions?

Dr. Taylor: There is definitely more an increased awareness when it comes to mental health, mental illness and the impact on our society. Unfortunately, much of the conversation is still superficial and related more to happiness, which is important. People still, however, have trouble taking the deep dive because of stigma and the fact that it makes them uncomfortable.

[WATCH: Video Below]

How has social media affected the landscape? As the HLN special Red Flag indicates, people are using it as a medium to express their struggles.

Social media gives an individual the opportunity 24/7 to express how they feel, in the comfort of their own home.  You see a lot more emotional reactions. Sometimes people just want to say I’m happy. That’s okay. Just because you’re expressing yourself, however, doesn’t mean that you are treating yourself. That’s where social media can fall short. There are some people who need treatment. There are some people who need to be treated in a doctor’s office.

How does someone know if they need treatment?

If you ever feel like you want to hurt yourself or someone else call 911.  Get to a medical professional.   If you notice a change in your behavior and attitudes about things you normally enjoy and you aren’t functioning in places like work or school for a period of 2 weeks, you need to talk to your healthcare professional.  Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs is another red flag.

What do people do who are in that gray area of not knowing if they’re just having a tough time or if they really need help?

First of all, applaud yourself for recognizing that something is going on.  Next you should access yourself in terms of your ability to function — that’s what will really dictate whether you need help.   If you do, don’t hesitate to call your medical doctor or your local mental health association.

As you mentioned earlier, social media gives people the chance to express themselves.  How can we tell if someone we’re interacting with or seeing on our social pages is really in trouble?

If someone seems like they want to hurt themselves, encourage them to call 911.    In addition, words hurt and people have tried to hurt themselves or try to kill themselves based on what they’ve seen on social media. The nature of social media is that it allows us to have a disconnect from the real person. That’s why you should never try to be someone’s social media therapist.