Irish influencer Shannen Joyce has opened up about the online abuse she suffered while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The Cork native was first diagnosed with the disease aged 19, having sadly been diagnosed for the third time in July 2020.
Shannen started gaining a platform after she decided to share her treatment journey on her Big C And Me Instagram account, and has since garnered over 110,000 followers.
Although Shannen has received an abundance of support from her online, the more negative aspects of being a social media star have shaken her.
During a recent appearance on the That’s What I Heard With Carly Mahady and Sean Phipps podcast, the 27-year-old spoke candidly about the abuse she’s suffered from online trolls, mostly on anonymous gossip forums.
“Before one of my chemos, they didn’t know if I could have it (the treatment) because I was glued to this page and reading what they were saying about me. It was eating my mind. I was reading , read, read and I lost almost a stone. she started
“So when I went for chemo, I couldn’t even get the right dose because, you know, the way it changes with your weight. So I had to end up on a lower dose because I was much lower weight, and that was after about two weeks of constantly reading bullshit about me online.
Shannen went on to detail the impact these forums had on her mental health during a particularly trying time in her life.
She says; “Obviously we don’t want to read things about ourselves. Personally, I don’t do it anymore. I couldn’t do without it. Someone told me, it’s like a form of self-harm if you go out and read this stuff.
Shannen ended her conversation by imploring listeners to avoid engaging in these types of forums, pointing out the real harm they can do to those involved.
‘If you read these forums, even if you don’t contribute and you just read them and say “Oh yeah that’s true about them, or yeah she does that” and you just tell your friends about it tell yourself… Imagine if you or your child or someone close to you loves a friend… If something tragic happened to them and they were in the gutter, be it anything, be it a disease , whether it’s a mental illness, whether it’s an addiction or whatever.
Since her third diagnosis in 2020, Shannen has since been given the green light and is cancer free again.