I read a post on TheMighty the other day called “25 ‘Harmless’ Comments That Actually Hurt People With Mental Illness” I expressed that I personally have been affected by 18 of these comments. I thought maybe I would look deeper into that and share my feelings about these comments…
1- “have you taken your meds today” honestly this comment just makes me feel like I’m not ok! YES I have taken my meds today and honestly if I forgot just one time this morning I’m pretty sure the medication that took two weeks to take full affect on me is still in my system from yesterday… So Yes I took my meds maybe i’m just having a bad day, thank you for your concern though.
2- “Just think of the people worse off than you” well I know there are plenty of people worse off than me…. I’m sure I didn’t just tell you that I have the most horrible life because I know that there are people in much more terrible situations… however I am still allowed to feel depressed.
3- “You have such a good life what do you have to be depressed about?” YES I will admit I do have wonderful things in my life and I am thankful for them but 1- I didn’t choose to be depressed 2-I didn’t choose to have bipolar 3- I didn’t choose to have PTSD. (aka I’m still suffering from a traumatic experience) SO I’m sorry but I do have my own reasons other than what I have to be thankful for.
4- “Everyone gets stressed sometimes” YES we ALL get stressed however living with anxiety and other multiple mental disorders I get stressed too and I have that right just like EVERYONE else is allowed to be stressed.
5- “Everyone gets sad sometimes” yes we all get sad and we are allowed to have that feeling too….just because my sadness and depression are different than your sadness doesn’t make it invalid.
6- “BUT that happened years ago” I’m sorry but this is probably one of the worst comments I have heard said to me…YES I was sexually abused by my father YEARS ago however that still doesn’t just go away…I still feel worthless and crappy because of this. I didn’t choose what happened to me and he didn’t have the right to do the damage he did to me. So yes it happened years ago but it affects me in a lot of ways today.
7- “your too young to be struggling so much” WHAT does my age have to do with my mental status…..it’s about my brain and life experiences that I have gone through. I don’t think just because Im 32 I shouldn’t be allowed to have mental illness.
8- “Just think positive” HA you don’t think I haven’t already tried that? Yes when I am feeling bad I do think of the positive things in my life BUT somehow someway the negative things in my life are still there TOO! While I will admit having a positive outlook does help me it doesn’t always fix the problem.
9- “Give it to God” I have given it to GOD and he has helped me through some tough things in my life, I believe my faith in God is one of the biggest reasons I am healthy today but I do still struggle at times.
10- “How could you be depressed, think about your children” Well even though I have children I can still have depression and some of my depression actually got worse when my last child was born. I had something called POSTPARTUM depression aka depression after having a child… SO yes I do think about my children and love them more than anything however I still do have depression.
11- “stop being so negative” I think when my depression gets the best of me I do forget all the positive things in my life and the BAD things tend to make me negative… So I’m sorry for being negative I don’t mean to be.
12- “Think about your OCD this way..at least your house will be clean” REALLY?!? I think this one more annoys me than hurts me… my house is not always clean thats because sometimes my OCD causes me to do other things like making more of a mess or obsessing over tv shows…things like that….so no my house isn’t always clean….my OCD doesn’t clean my house for me.
13- “you need to relax” well if I could just shut my brain off for a little bit I COULD relax. Do you really think I want to be up at 4 am because I can’t relax or do you really think I want to be going 100mph all the time… NO I would LOVE to just sit down and RELAX!
14- “I don’t know what to tell you” this just makes me feel like i’m alone in my struggles.
15- “your so strong” while I know i’m strong its the “BUT your so strong” that hurts my feelings it makes me feel like when i’m down and going through a tough time that I am weak, I didn’t choose for all the traumatic things in my life to happen to me and there were plenty of times I wasn’t strong enough
16- “Happiness is a choice” When i’m going through manic phase of my bipolar I really don’t think happiness is a choice because no matter what I do during that time it results in some depression. If it was that simple to ALWAYS be happy don’t you think I would choose to be?!? in case you didn’t know my answer DUH I would love to be happy all the time.
17- “you seem so much better” well I must have been pretty crappy then because I must have been pretty miserable to be around…or that I better not get worse again because I was just SO much better.
18- “personally I would never take medication” sooo you wouldn’t take medication if you had and infection or if you had heart disease?!? Me taking medication to help the chemical imbalance in my brain is just like people taking medications for diabetes or thyroid problems…SO yes I will continue to take my medication.
SO these are my feelings and yes they are all “harmless” comments thats why I just move on when I hear these things and don’t take it personally but they can also be hurtful to hear. Please be kind when choosing your words…