Do You Share Your Blog with Mental Health Treatment Providers?

laptop with the words mental health on the screen
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Sharing my blog with treatment providers came up for me for the first time recently during my inpatient hospital stay. The fact that I had a blog came up during my first meeting with a psychiatrist in ER, as he’d asked what I do with my time since I’ve been on disability.

My psychiatrist here on the inpatient unit asked if I’d be okay with him looking at it, and I responded that I wanted to take some time to think about it. I was thinking that I would share it with him, but then I decided that it wouldn’t help my cause if I ended up having to go ahead with the review panel to contest my Mental Health Act Committal (which didn’t end up being necessary). The question of whether or not he should look at my blog never came up again, but as the half-deaf fill-in doctor last week was flipping through my chart, I caught sight of my blog’s logo, so clearly somebody had found it and printed off a page from it to stick in my chart. At no point had anyone asked me the blog’s name or URL, but I’m very easily findable using Google, so it doesn’t surprise me that someone could track it down (although I am a bit surprised that they would). No one has ever had any kind of follow-up discussion with me about what they found there.

I know that some people do share their blog with their treatment provider(s). I’m not sure if that’s something I’d ever be all that keen on, although I’m not sure how to articulate why that is. Maybe it’s because I like to compartmentalize my life, and things crossing over into different compartments makes things messier in my head. I don’t like the idea of a treatment provider looking at the dialogue going on in the comments; discomfort with them reading that is more the issue for me than discomfort with them reading the posts themselves.

I think that I’d probably feel the need to self-censor somewhat if I knew treatment providers would be reading my blog. With all of you, I don’t feel the need to use much, if any, filter, and I like that feeling of freedom to write whatever I want using whatever kind of language I want.

So those are my thoughts. Now I’m curious to hear from you – have you or would you share your blog with a treatment provider? Why or why not?

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132 thoughts on “Do You Share Your Blog with Mental Health Treatment Providers?”

  1. What you described (finding that someone secretly noted your blog) is spooky and concerning and unethical. Truly.

    I’m reluctant to tell anyone who they should or shouldn’t share their blog address with. I will say that I regret having shared mine with a past therapist. Frankly, I regret having shared my blog address with my family members. My father shared it around town and with relatives I’d rather not have known it. I also chose to remove my blog’s linkage to social media and prefer it that way. But again, my preferences. I prefer more anonymity, though I do love strangers to read my posts and share on them.

    Back to the therapist that knew my blog. With her, there was some transference and countertransference issues. She reminded me of my late mother. I think she became overly attached to me as if I was her daughter. She would read some of my posts and respond, and a couple times in an inappropriate way and this was AFTER I stopped seeing her. In the end, I confess that I deleted her email address from my follower list. Ouch, but for the best! Eventually, just as you feel a need to self-censor, so did I. My solution was to export all of my mental health/bipolar disorder posts to a new blog (linked through my username above). I left the old one for travel and culinary posts. The sad result of the transfer is that I lost all of my followers and “likes” and some posts that were well optimized (SEO) ceased being so. Only the comments remained with the transferred posts.

    I hope this helps.

    1. Yeah, I can see that getting messy with transference/countertransference. My problem is that when I published my first book I decided to use my full name, and as a result, I’m very, very easily findable.

      1. That is a hard decision, in terms of names. I remember either reading or hearing Kay Redfield Jamison discuss the choice of publishing under her real name. She obviously did.

        Though it may never be published, I have been working on an autobiographical set of short stories and already decided to use a different name, if it is ever published. It wouldn’t be strictly a bipolar memoir, but would include stories of episodes and how they helped shape what is now the 50 year old me.

  2. 1st before I go off track… and you know that I will. need to find out how your blog became part of your medical/psychiatric record.
    Because that shit will follow you for LIFE.
    Unless you gave it to them or they asked for permission and you granted it to them (which should still be done in your presence), there is NO WAY that your blog should be in medical record.
    If in your sessions, you decide to read a section of it, and have a discussion, cool.
    In an outpatient setting where you have a long-term doctor-patient relationship built on trust and a true picture of who you are and YOU choose to share it so they gain knowledge about you, wonderful.

    Otherwise, to me, that is just a violation of your privacy. It is that “Big Brother is Watching” thing to me.
    You know that I am speaking from a place of wanting you to be protected, and experience.
    As in the ER you know that it only takes one nurse having a shitty day or an arrogant or ignorant doctor that believes the plaque on the wall equals “Ultimate Knowledge of the Universe”, to paint such a distorted picture of who you are, that you have to go before a medical review board and plead your case.
    You are at their mercy at that point.
    That isn’t how health care is supposed to work, and it sure as fuck isn’t how Mental Health treatment should be.
    Anyone could take offense to something in your blog and then not take into account their emotional reaction (Which ALSO, does not belong in your medical record, i.e. their “FEELINGS” aren’t relevant to your case, but their medical knowledge is)
    and use a few of those choice medical code words in your chart “like VIOLENT, NON Compliant, Combative, Hysterical” to change how every single doctor treats you from that point forward.
    It is really important for your future care.
    I know you get it from our previous conversations. I don’t care about the doctors, the only absolute about your medical care is You.
    Your voice is what matters ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
    I will be back later about me 😊

    1. It’s all fucked up. My problem is that if you Google my full name, Ashley Leia Peterson, you’ll find my blog. They knew I had a blog and no one knew what it was called, so they Googled my name and found me. It’s fucked. And yeah, they’ve already put made-up words in my chart like paranoid, combative, psychotic, and yelling. They’re evil motherfuckers.

  3. An interesting blog and I enjoyed reading the comments. Sorry I haven’t had time to reply to each individually. I am not in therapy at the moment, and haven’t been whilst blogging. A blog is in the public sphere, visible to anyone who comes across it so my opinion is that whatever I write I need to be aware that anyone can read it. Including a therapist. However I would have thought for a therapist to have read a patient’s blog and then not disclosed that to them was a breach of trust. If you blog with a pseudonym you are unlikely to be identified. I use my real name which means I am more exposed. If I were seeing someone in my professional capacity as a church minister I would certainly not look up their blog without their permission. When my book, Are We There Yet? Is published (soon I hope) it will contain extracts from my journals when I was depressed and working through stuff. I do feel a little nervous about people I know reading it but am perfectly fine with strangers reading it. I’m waffling… sorry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts everyone who has commented.

  4. I did tell my psychologist I starting blogging. She didn’t ask anything about it. I probably wouldn’t have an issue with them reading it because I don’t think there is anything in there I’ve not shared, but unless they ask I wouldn’t pass on the details.

  5. Without your permission, it’s unethical and it shouldn’t have happened. I shared selected posts with a former therapist and even offered up the URL for my blog, but he declined. It was far easier to express myself in writing back then, so I thought it had the potential to be helpful and yet, I wasn’t 100% certain that I wanted him poking around – especially since I had a creative nickname for him used in a few posts. Overall, I guess I’m glad he said no!

  6. My therapist knows about my blog, and I’ve been open to the series of therapists at this latest facility see it if they want to. Oddly enough they don’t seem very interested, not even in the mental health posts I’ve written. If I do send a post to one of the therapists (in the past) there was never any mention of what they thought. My current therapist is just as disinterested, and more interested in my filling out some form or other, or finding “reasons to be joyful” day to day. It’s not a great situation, but there’s no alternative at this time either. I’ve never been shy about someone reading my blog – save for my immediate family with one exception. I’ve never written anything that wasn’t true so why care if they read it. Now, if I told a specific care provider that I had privacy concerns or issues around having my blog ‘out there’ for anyone to see, I’d be highly pissed off if I found out they violated that trust and you can bet they’d hear (loudly) about that violation too.

  7. My answer as to whether to share blogposts with care providers is “it depends.” If I have been working with that person for years, there are few to no surprises so I might say “yes.” As to being recently on a psyche ward, I probably would say “no” since those people don’t know the real me only the hospitalized me which is an aspect of my being but does not define me. I find it hard to believe that they would access your blogposts without disclosing this to you. This seems like a privacy violation to the max.

  8. I ended up sharing the blog address with our psychiatrist about a year ago, I wanted to be more accountable and thought it would be good for her to have a glimpse into the goings on when I rock up to a session and can’t remember anything (happens a lot). I’m always honest with her anyway but it has changed the freedom some of the others used to feel they had in writing anonymously and now they won’t participate.

  9. I’ve thought about this, too. Should I tell my therapist I’m keeping a blog? Writing in a sense is therapeutic for me, but it would make me write differently. I feel the same way about writing since I have learned that several influential people in my professional network have figured out I write a blog. Some of them are regular readers, and have talked to me about it (praise, no negativity). It doesn’t really bother me that they know, or read, although part of me wants to apply a stronger filter, as of not to offend them. Magic in writing largely disappears with filters, doesn’t it? I sometimes consider writing under an alias.

  10. Although I am new to this platform; the idea of writing and sharing blogs and ideas with those who suffer from mental illness would be so rewarding.
    I have suffered from the wrath of depression and struggle with anxiety disorder, although currently getting away from prescription medications.
    This has brought me to where I am now, writing, blogging and capturing all sorts of topics to highlight the beauty of art from my perspective.
    Thanks for sharing. Take care.

  11. Originally I thought it was a great idea to share your blog. It is incredible. I am not sure though if I would share my blog.

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