We’ve all been there before: You’re having a bad day and someone asks you something offensive regarding your mental health status. They might mean well, but as you all know – sometimes words can affect the way we feel:
1. “Stop acting so crazy.”
- I’m not “crazy” by any stretch of the imagination. I have mental health issues, and often times I have to really disassociate what I feel verses the facts.
2. “You’ve been in therapy for years. Is it even working for you?”
- As a matter of fact, it is. You can’t expect to see change instantly, or even after a few sessions. Working with a therapist is a process – just like going to school. You attend classes for years upon years, and if you want to succeed, you have to attend every class, as well as apply the knowledge that you learn to your everyday life. The same applies with therapy.
3. “That’s not true – it’s all in your head…”
- Well technically yes, it is all in my head. My mental status is a result of a chemical imbalance in my brain that I can’t regulate on my own. The way that I feel may not always seem logical, but that doesn’t make it any less real real to me.
4. “Stop being so dramatic!”
- Dramatic? No. High performing anxiety? Yes. I’m sorry that you fail to understand that while I may appear calm and collected on he outside, a whirlwind of emotions and racing thoughts are plaguing me.
….and the one thing you DEFINETLY shouldn’t say to someone struggling with mental illness (or at least you better not say it to ME):
5. “Did you take your meds today?”
- Oooh this absolutely burns me up! Please don’t EVER patronize someone with mental illness, by asking if they’ve taken their meds. Taking medication isn’t a quick fix for people with mental health issues. We often have to seek therapy, and additionally apply those skills we learn to the everyday situations we face.
Words mean things, so try to keep that in mind when checking in with your loved ones dealing with something. We need support and understanding, just like everyone else. Not judgement or condescending remarks. If you’re unsure about something, just ask – don’t assume. The more knowledge we can spread about mental health, the faster we can kill the stigmas associated with them. As always, remember that you’re #PerfectlyImperfect and #MentalyStrong!
– Jasmine JeNay ✨