The mass media likes to portray Anons as these happy go lucky mischievous hax0rs who wear black hoodies and sit at computers haxing all day. The truth is, we are NOT stereotypes. We truly ARE Legion and come from every country, race, religion (and atheism as well)….we come from different cultures, but are unified in our wish to fight those who would abuse and exploit the innocents. Many Anons are not “hackers”, but use other talents to fight corruption, fight abusers, such as web design, song writing, journalism, graphic arts, video production, etc.. We are real people with real lives, and have the same worries, concerns, stresses you have…from health problems to financial concerns, to interpersonal issues.
But, an unseen, and often hidden part of being an Anon is the fact that many of us, suffer daily from depression. In a way, its not a big surprise that people who fight against pedophilia, stalking, animal abuse, who daily see examples of the things they are fighting, would get depressed. There is a lot in this world to get pessimistic about, a lot to get depressed about. And, though we often speak about #Anonfamily, many of us live isolated from others, many don’t have a great “real world” support system.
So, what this means is that many Anons are daily not only fighting for innocents by going after wrongdoers and abusers, but they are also fighting a lonely battle against depression. Certainly though, this is not just true of Anons…indeed depression is a growing problem with younger folks, i.e. people under 21. It’s not hard to understand why.
Stress and depression, to some extent go hand in hand, and by stress I don’t mean “eustress”…the kind of stress in which some folks thrive and do better…I am talking about distress…bad stress. Many people have lost their loved ones, family has died, pets have died, and they are alone, and perhaps, have health problems.
Some have turned to drugs, to self medicate themselves, to try to block the psychological pain they feel, but ultimately, this strategy is not a winning method of dealing with these things.
For some Anons, the stress, the unhappiness, the depression, the anger, gets too much, and they leave Twitter or other social media. This is particularly problematic because for many of them, Twitter (or Facebook or whatever) is their primary means of social interaction, so when they disconnect from Twitter, they feel truly alone, and depressed.
I am not saying that only Anons are suffering this, but as an Anon, I talk confidentially with many Anons and have found this issue with depression is serious, and many you would never guess are clinically depressed, in fact, are.
When we say we are part of an #Anonfamily, we need to really mean that, and part of being in an #Anonfamily is being there for Anons who need to reach out. We need to be a support system for our Brothers and Sisters who are hurting.
I myself try to do this…but I am only one man and often, I am dealing with my own problems, and am offline doing that. But, we have many people in Anonymous with varied talents. Some are trained in counseling…and of course, this is a great asset…but for those without training, any of us can be a sympathetic ear, and let a fellow Anon know they are not alone, and that we care.
You would be surprised that, sometimes, just a kind word, a short DM convo to let a fellow Anon know you give a damn, can keep them from ending their life.
Don’t be ashamed to say you have depression. Many of us do. It is not having the depression…but what you do about it, how you cope, that matters.
For that reason, I say that part of #OpNewBlood is providing articles, information on coping with stress and depression, and being a mentor for #NewBloods, or a friendly ear for your peers.
Thanks for Reading.