Things NOT to say to someone with a mental illness

I got this idea from LifesFineWhine and you can read their post here. Since Mental Health Awarness Month is coming to an end I wanted to do this post because theres people in the world who say their mental health avocates then say these exact things. If I get any information wrong please let me know down in the comments. I do want to learn so that way im better prepared for the next time I do a post about mental health.

It’s all in your head

I think no one WANTS a chemical imbalance in their brain that causes their illness. Because sometimes we can’t control the depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, and all the other mental health illnesses. Some don’t want bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia but guess what they have it. So saying “its all in your head” might not be the best thing to say when that’s more than likely what they want to escape from but can’t.

It could be worse/ Other people have it worse

It kinda goes back so people don’t want the chemical imbalance in their brain. Because sometimes missing the deadline is the worse thing that could happen to them at that moment. We know people are homeless and other people are living off food stamps and don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We know that people have it worse but that doesn’t stop them from worrying about every worst-case scenario if things don’t go how they want them to go. Sometimes getting yelled at for doing something small can trigger something huge. Plus sometimes people can go days sometimes weeks without feeling like their happy selves and they get called lazy because they have no motivation to do anything.

Suicide is selfish

No. You want to know what’s selfish. Treating people like shit to where they honestly think suicide IS their only option. When people have these thoughts it’s brushed off like no big deal when said person is struggling. Because when someone with suicidal thoughts bring up the fact they want to kill themselves or they are thinking about it, they are usually met with this response or the “so you’re going to burden someone else with you taking your life.” (well something along those lines). It seems like no one takes it seriously then when that person dies the people who say that “they could have talked to me” is said when in reality they just brushed it off and they feel guilty for not taking it as seriously as they might have.

Get over it

If they could they would. But almost always this phrase makes them feel even worse for burdening someone who isn’t a therapist with their problems. Sometimes those who have a mental health illness want someone to talk to about how they are feeling then get told to get over it (along with some of the other responses on this list). Telling someone to get over it could lead them to suicide because they might feel like they are burdening everyone with them just existing.

You don’t seem unwell

Just because someone doesn’t look like they are sick doesn’t mean they aren’t. Plus just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Some people can be mentally unwell and having a bad mental health day (week or month). When someone is physically sick we feel sorry for them. When they have a broken bone we wish them a speedy recovery. Like we can’t see the bone so… (And yes I know we can see the cast). Why isn’t it this way when someone is mentally sick? Why not have the same empathy? why not the same mindset?

“I know how you feel”

9 times out of 10 those who say this don’t know how you feel. It almost never comes across as how you want it to come across as. It almost always makes them feel worse. Like you don’t suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia (yes I know there’s more but these are the most common that we hear about), anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. So how can you possibly know what someone is going threw if you never been in their shoes?

Things will be better tomorrow

If you never suffer from a mental illness almost always things will not be better tomorrow. Like yea, things might be better tomorrow then they were today but they will never be up to those standers. Everyone has different hurdles to jump threw on a daily basis but saying “things will be different tomorrow” when you’re just trying to get threw the day can be hard. And what if things don’t get better tomorrow? What then? Things don’t automatically get better all because 10 people say so.

Having a mental health illness comes with its good days along with the bad ones. there’s no manual for it. Think we should all be careful of what we say when we’re around people cause we never know what someone is going threw. words can hurt and it can stick with someone for a lifetime. I know I kept saying “mental health illness” it’s just because I didn’t know what else to say. So if that upsets you in any way please let me know in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Things NOT to say to someone with a mental illness

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