Mental Health Awareness Month
As you guys know May is Mental Health Awareness Month and therefore I decided to write posts about mental health this whole week. Today I decided to post about “Things You Need To Stop Telling People With Mental Health Problems” because a lot of people may not know how to talk to someone who suffers from mental health problems. Some people may accidentally say something insensitive without realizing it’s insensitive. I thought I would share the things people say most often and why they are the wrong thing to say. Let me know in the comments what the weirdest/most insulting thing someone has told you about your mental health.
“Get over it”
If it was that easy do you think we wouldn’t have just gotten over it? This is a really sad thing to say and if anything it just shows how ignorant you are about mental health and how it works. Telling someone to get over their mental health problems is not only a mean thing to say it’s also something that can have horrible consequences. If the person is already in a very bad state saying something like this could really push them over the edge. Instead of saying something like this try being more empathetic and putting yourself in their shoes. I’ve also noticed that there’s a huge double standard when it comes to empathy for people who have mental health problems. Even though someone may not suffer from the same physical problem they wouldn’t tell someone who has a physical illness to “get over it” so it really annoys me when people say that to someone suffering from a mental illness.
“Don’t be anxious/depressed/etc”
Wow thanks you just cured us… said no one EVER. If it were possible to turn off our mental health problems like that then they would not be a mental health problem. You may not mean any harm when you say this but it can make the person feel like their feelings/emotions/thoughts/problems aren’t real or significant. Instead try being more accepting and say something like “I understand that you may be feeling a certain way and that’s okay. Just know I’m here if you ever want to talk or need help with anything.” That shows that you are taking what the person is going through seriously and not dismissing their feelings.
“You’re just being dramatic”
It is extremely unlikely that someone with a mental health disorder is being “dramatic” or “faking it.” People who are not going through the same thing may not understand what it feels like to have a mental health problem however for people who are experiencing mental health problems can be extremely difficult. It can really bring up a lot of strong emotions that can be very difficult to control.
“There are people out there who have it worse”
Yes there are people out there who probably have it worse, way worse, but that does not mean that someone else isn’t suffering as well. No matter how small or big your problem may be compared to others it’s still a problem and you’re allowed to feel a certain way about it. You can have the perfect life and still be depressed, you can have everything and still be anxious. Mental illness does not discriminate and you should not make people feel guilty for having emotions.
“Everyone feels sad/depressed/etc sometimes”
Yes that’s very true. However, people who have mental health problems deal with something different and much more complicated than the emotions regular people feel. It’s definitely not the same thing and the comparison is a little insulting because again it feels like you are dismissing their feelings. Instead try to me more empathetic and acknowledge their feelings.
If you or someone you know are experiences mental health problems please seek professional health. It can be extremely beneficial to talk to a professional. There are sites that offer online therapy sessions for those who may not be able to go to therapy.
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