Things you should NOT imply or tell someone with mental illness
All the typical things people say that don't understand it.
- •"Just get over it."The same way people can't get over a broken arm at the snap of a finger, neither can we with mental illness.
- •"It's all in your head"Yes, hence "mental"
- •"Just stop"Don't you think we've already thought of that. If we could we would.
- •"Stop using mental illness as an excuse to not do things"Yes because we'd rather not talk to anyone and be completely isolated and not do things we want to do and truly struggle with things we DONT want to struggle with.
- •"Everyone is anxious, depressed, etc."While anxiety and sadness and other emotions are part of life and everyone experiences them every so often, actual disorders are not normal and not everyone struggles with them DAILY.
- •"You don't have (insert mental disorder here)Why thankyou, dr. I didn't know you had the capability and training to tell me what I have. Not to mention you aren't in my head. You don't know what anyone really deals with.
- •"There's people who have it worse"No, really? I did not know that. Does that mean that I don't count?
- •"You have it good, you shouldn't feel that way"I know I shouldn't feel this way. Which is why it's a struggle. Circumstances don't dictate what your brain or body does when it comes to mental disorders.
- •"You're weak or less than a person for having this"No, actually. I'm not.
- •"You're just saying these things for attention"If I wanted attention believe me I would not use mental illness for that. Why would anyone make this up?
- •"It's a choice"Give me one logical reason why anyone would choose to struggle. While, yes, recovery is a choice, the thing in which you're recovering from is not.
- •"It won't kill you to do (insert task that your anxiety cripples you from doing)"No, it will not kill me. But guess what? If I'm having anxiety about doing something, it feels like if I do this thing it will kill me. But let's get one thing straight. I'm not saying anxiety lightly. I'm talking heart pounding, body shaking uncontrollably, chest pains, feeling impending doom, and other various sensations anxiety can cause. And over little things. You actually think we're saying this lightly? I'm not talking about a little nerves.
- •"You're over exaggerating"No. Not quite. Usually, if people say they're feeling something intensely, they mean it. It is possible to feel things very intensely and just because you haven't doesn't mean other people don't.
- •Conclusion:You shouldn't make people feel ashamed, worthless, broken, or less valued because of mental illness. They're not weak. They're not lazy. They're most likely not making it up. The only attention they want is for you to be there for them and help them through it. We don't want judgment. We don't want it thrown in our face. It's not our fault. We're doing the best we can to manage it. We will have bad days and we will have good days.
- •Conclusion 2:Just because you don't understand it does not mean it's wrong, not real, or stupid. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. If you don't have mental illness you won't understand how debilitating it is. It makes us feel like we can't do things we really want to do or things that we enjoy. It's not a choice. It's not fun. It's not a good excuse to get out of things. Our pain is not up for debate. We didn't ask for your opinion. And it definitely shouldn't be thrown around.