If you spend any time on TiKTok, you have likely seen hot takes about The Bachelor, the wellness industry, dating, or fashion from Christina Najjar (@tinx) on your For You Page. She’s deemed herself “the oldest girl on TikTok” and documents and invites people into her life in Los Angeles.
What might not be immediately obvious from her content is that Christina is passionate about mental health, and breaking the stigma that exists in our society. Since gaining viral fame on her TikTok, she’s had to navigate the mental health challenges that can come with maintaining a public platform, and being vulnerable with an online community.
However, even prior to experiencing the unique emotional demands of being thrust into the spotlight, Christina prioritized her mental wellbeing through courses of therapy, recognizing the mind-body connection, and treating her anxiety and depression.
We were excited to understand more about Christina’s perspective on mental health and how it factors into her life as a Writer, Content Creator, and Influencer.
A Conversation with Christina Najjar, Writer + Content Creator
Tell us about yourself!
I'm Christina aka Tinx! I'm 30 years old originally from London England and I'm a full-time content creator and writer. I spend much of my time on TikTok where I love discussing celebrity gossip, vlogging, and chronicling the lives of my Rich Mom characters. I adore what I do. I had many different jobs in my 20s, and I've finally found my niche.
What is your relationship to mental health? How does social media affect your mental health?
I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was 13. I am lucky that my parents took me to therapy and always encouraged me to be open about what I was struggling with. At that age, I had chronic anxiety and couldn't sleep. I also had bad OCD that was very debilitating but my parents were so patient with me and took me to different therapists and it helped. When I went to college, things got better. I still had anxiety but I was so busy and loved school so much that I was distracted and this carried on to my early 20s in San Francisco. The worst depression of my life was when I moved to New York for grad school. I felt alone, anxious, and that I was “behind" my friends. I felt very lost.
Eventually, I found a brilliant Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. I had never tried this type of therapy before, and I immediately loved it. It felt so practical and actionable. Together we got out of my depression and I started to thrive again. I decided to move to LA because I missed California. When I moved I sunk back into depression (big changes are hard for me, even if they are good). But again, I worked through it with my therapist. I also started taking anxiety medication which helped.
I found a new career during the pandemic and I love it beyond words. TikToking and creating content is what I was born to do, I love making people laugh and I love relating to people. However, with internet fame comes internet trolls. I started suffering panic attacks that were triggered by the mean things people said to me online. One was so bad I nearly went to the hospital. I knew immediately I had to find a therapist in LA who could help me because otherwise, I wouldn't be able to reach my potential and achieve the goals that I could visualise so clearly. My new therapist is amazing. She has my back and is there for me and we put a plan and boundaries in place. I am getting stronger via the new tools she arms me with every day.
When did you go to therapy for the first time? What do you remember about the experience?
The first time I went to therapy was about age 13. My best friend moved and I had a breakdown of sorts. I was also deeply anxious. I was unable to sleep because I was so afraid of being kidnapped in the night. My parents took me to a couple of therapists and to be honest, I liked it right away. I didn't click with the first one we went to, but I liked the experience. I think because from the time I was young, I have always wanted to improve myself and be the best version of myself and I view therapy as an integral part of that.
Do you continue to go to therapy? If so, what have you learned about your preferences?
I talk to my therapist every week! I would not be where I am without my current and previous therapists. I rely on my therapist now more than ever because being internet famous is a completely new experience that I need help navigating. I also talk to her about relationships.
Therapy is like dating, it’s not one-size-fits-all. You have to find someone that works for you and a style that works for you. I've tried therapists I don't mesh with and styles that drain me. For example, I don't like talking extensively about my childhood. There is a therapist and therapy style for everyone.
What is your mental wellness regimen outside of therapy?
Setting boundaries and saying no are two things I'm working on and that really help me. Self-care is prioritizing yourself. It's not just a face mask or massage (although I love those too). You have to be able to identify when people or things are toxic in your life and stand up for yourself. Boundaries to me are the most defiant act of self-care.
The stigma surrounding therapy still exists for many people. What would you say to someone who has misconceptions or fears about therapy?
I wish people knew how common mental health struggles are. It's not a sign of weakness to see a therapist, it's a sign of strength. When you see a therapist it is the ultimate act of love and self-care. I also wish people knew how much of a direct effect therapy can have on your happiness and well being and success.
Why do you think it's important for people to take care of their mental health?
Sound mental health is crucial for happiness and success. It's crucial for our well being. We are obsessed with going to the gym and eating healthy foods, but what about our brains? Brains need upkeep and love too! I think of my brain as the control room and every day it’s barraged with information and stimulation. In order for it to do its job right, it needs upkeep and care.
Our virtual doors are open for therapy in Los Angeles, and we can’t wait to open our first physical clinic in downtown LA later this year. You can book a matching appointment with us to find your therapist here.
If you would like to share your story, we'd love to #TalkTherapy with you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency or crisis and needs immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Additional resources can be found here.