People have said that dealing with myself is similar to “walking on eggshells,” and I can understand that. Not everyone knows how to handle someone who struggles with Mental Illness. To someone who’s experiencing it, little comments can come off as rude or insensitive. Some are being assholes, but most don’t understand how big of an effect their words have. Since opening up about my diagnosis, I’ve heard it all. People tend to think I am “too sensitive.” I like to think I am hyper-aware. I have started to let people know when they say something hurtful. It’s my way of spreading awareness. I’ve had conversations with family members about what to say and what not to say. I think it’s time Manic-Mama had the same conversation.
For someone struggling mentally, these comments can be detrimental to someone’s well-being. I’ve concluded that most people don’t fully understand the Mental Health crisis sweeping the world. The other part just doesn’t fucking care. Some people don’t care about anything that isn’t affecting them personally. The world needs a wake-up call, now more than ever. If you’re looking for a better understanding of what to say (or not say), you’ve come across the right blog. If you’re struggling with Mental Illness and you’re here to learn how to talk to better communicate, I’m proud of you. We love a person trying to better themselves. You go, mother effer.
“It’s all in your head.”
- DON’T!!! Mental Illness is NOT FAKE, and saying this undermines the feelings of those struggling. These feelings are real, and proclaiming they are imaginary is wrong.
“Well, it could be worse.”
- I hear this shit a lot, and I can see where people are coming from. But, this statement is just belittling everything that person is going through. Think about it. Sure, there’s worse out there. That doesn’t mean that person’s problems aren’t real. It brings out feelings of guilt.
“But, you always seem so happy?”
- I think we’ve all learned that Mental Illness has no specific face. The majority of people (depressed or not) hide their emotions as a coping mechanism. Not everyone feels safe/comfortable talking to someone about what they feel on the inside.
“Everyone’s sad sometimes.”
- Shut up. That’s the nicest thing I can say to that. If you are telling this to someone struggling, they might not seek the help they need.
“Just smile. You’ll feel better.”
- Oh, fuck off. That just pisses me off. Is it that simple? Like, can a smile cure me? Shit, someone give me a smile that does that. This is an unrealistic viewpoint. Recovery is much more complicated than just smiling.
A few others..
- “Find a distraction.”
- “Do you really want to get better? Are you even trying?”
- “Did you forget to take your meds?”
- “Someone’s bipolar today.”
- “You’re being dramatic.”
- “Your feelings aren’t valid, it’s just your disorder.”
- “Stop acting crazy.”
- “This makes me want to kill myself.”
- “Therapy is for the weak.”
I know it may seem like a lot, and that I’m overly sensitive. I’m not. People deserve enough respect from people who love them. I just want people to think twice before they say something that might hurt someone.
So, what should you say? What can you say to help build this person up?
- “Thank you for feeling comfortable enough to share.”
- “How can I help?”
- Try asking openended questions. Ask them to share their thoughts.
- Listen closely when they are voicing their feelings.
- “You have every right to feel what you are. What happened to make you feel that?”
- One on one conversation.
- “How can I support you?”
- “What can I do?”
- I avoid using the word “you”, use the word “I”.
It’s okay to not know what to say; that’s why we have google. LOL. There’s no excuse anymore, it’s time for everyone to wake up. Put in the effort and LEARN SHIT. If we want to help our world, we need to know how to help spread awareness. Mental Illness is not just in people’s heads, and it’s not “just for attention.” It’s a REAL problem and continuing to overlook it is ruining lives.
We need to be the change we want to see. Challenge yourself. Grow and learn. Speak your truth. Love unconditionally, and strive for peace.
It’s time to be better.
I’m glad to be back.
Missed you guys,
XOXO Manic Mama