How You Should Not Help Me

My last post was about how to help me and what to say so I thought there should also be a post about things NOT to say to someone who is struggling with a mental illness. So many people want to help me but aren’t exactly sure how…so instead they chat away and tell me about what helped their “Great-Aunts-Cousins’-Sister-in-law” when they were depressed 25 years ago…I’m sorry, but what helped you or your friend may not work for me, and quite honestly, I don’t really want to hear about it. Here are some examples of what NOT to say to someone struggling with an mental illness:


Have you tried….(I get this one a lot)
Do you have any unresolved sin in your life?
There’s always someone worse off than you
No one said life was fair
Don’t feel sorry for yourself
Everyone gets depressed
Get over it
Just think positive
It’s your own fault
Believe me, i know how it feels. I was depressed once (for several days) and I just ___ and then I was fine!
Snap out of it
You have so many things to be thankful for, how can you be depressed?
You’d feel better if you got off all those pills
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger
Go out and have some fun
I know how you feel

All of these statements show that you don’t know what your talking about. Most people don’t understand….and that’s really ok! I would prefer it to be awkwardly quiet than hear one of these phrases. Try inserting some of these 

Hey, diabetic, you’d feel better if you came off those meds.
Hey, paraplegic, so you can’t use your legs, we create our own reality.
Hey, person who has MS, I know how you feel.

You get the idea. These sound completely unreasonable, and it’s no more reasonable to say to someone struggling with mental illness

I do understand that people don’t know they are being hurtful. People are trying to help. I get it. But here’s the thing, my illness is just as real as anyone else’s. Please stop forcing me to convince you.

And a Personal Update:

I’ve been back in the hospital for the past 3 months. We are waiting to get an OCD assessment in Toronto to see if they can offer me the OCD treatment that I need and I’m also meeting with a research team. If they decide that they can’t help me there than we will start filling out info to head to Boston’s OCD program. Please pray that we can have the assessment soon so I can finally get good treatment that I desperately need!  

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