Hello hello! I wasn’t quite sure what to write for this week’s Mental Health Monday, but then I mentioned on Instagram that I’d been feeling a bit down recently. (Nothing too bad, just stress, mainly.) This led to someone very kindly saying one of the most annoying things you can say to someone with a mental illness:
- Cheer up
That made me think – what else have people said to me, in the hopes of making me feel better? So here’s a list of some of the well-meant but ultimately annoying things that people have said to me:
- I know how you feel
- It’s all in your head
- Just go outside/eat healthy/take supplements
- Stop worrying
- Think about all the people who have real problems
- Have you tried… (meditating, yoga, mindfulness, colouring etc.)
- Oh no! I thought you were cured!
In my experience, every one of these things inevitably made me feel worse. Because yes, I have tried all of those things – and others! But I’ve not been ‘cured’. This tends to make me wonder why these haven’t worked, what is wrong with me, that medication, therapy, and a variety of mindfulness exercises don’t work? For me, it causes a sort of meta-anxiety. I start to worry about the fact that I’m worrying.
And finally – yes, I know that it is all in my head!
Next week I’m going to talk about the things that you could say or do that may actually help people with mental illnesses. As per usual, this will be from my experience. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Finally – if there are any questions you have for me, I was thinking about doing a Q&A about mental health for one of my next Mental Health Mondays. No question is too large or too small! If you want to ask anonymously, that’s fine too. 🙂