By Arun Dahiya
7 insensitive things people say to someone with mental illness.
1. Try to snap out of it
Thank you I never thought that I could snap out of it. Ah.! I just need to cheer up. This is so wrong. Would you say this to someone with a broken leg that you don’t need a cast, just walk. Similarly it is an health issue that one can’t snap out of just by choice.
2. You have nothing to be depressed about
Depression can happen without any cause to a person with perfect life. It’s a chemical imbalance of the brain. So your saying they have nothing to be depressed about is trivializing them.
3. You are lazy
Yes, some days I spend a whole day lying on my bed doing nothing. I deal with a continuous mental struggle that is exhausting. Would you say to a cancer patient that they are using cancer as an excuse to be lazy.
4. You need to change your attitude
The problem is not my attitude but my mental illness. Change of perception is a good thing. But depression, OCD, anxiety or ptsd isn’t about attitude. With mental illness it’s very likely our thoughts get hazy. No One Should Be Shamed!
5. Suicide is selfish
Suicide isn’t selfish. It’s a desperate action of a person in intense pain. A person who stops seeing light at the end of tunnel. It’s not a sudden act. Often the person tries to reach and get help.
It’s high time people stop saying someone committed suicide. Crimes are committed, rapes and murders are committed – not suicide. Say died by suicide. We shouldn’t shame them for it.
And it’s never a sudden act. Often there are endless tries by the person to get help.
6. Everyone feels sad
There is lots of difference between feeling sad and depressed. We often feel sad that is a normal human reaction. But depression sometimes consist of feeling numb. While I am numb, I don’t feel anything, I can’t cry or be happy. I feel like a robot who is devoid of every human emotion. I feel hollow and see everything around me happening without understanding what’s going on. So saying it is something everyone feels isn’t true. It’s kind of telling people with mental illness that their struggles aren’t real.
7. These medications are bad for you
My medications are between me and my psychiatrist. It’s not other’s business. Its okay to take medications for your mental illness. Would you tell a diabetic person to stop taking his insulin. My desvenlafaxine gave me my life back. It helps me to have a normal day and feeling strong enough to have a day. It’s only takes missing one single dose to feel again foggy and dark.
It’s perfectly fine to take medications to manage my serotonin levels.