We know you’re trying to help us. We know you’re trying to put things into perspective for us. And yes, we know that a lot of the time, our emotions aren’t exactly logical. Trust me—we know, and we absolutely hate it. Even so, let me make it clear for you: these are not the right things to say.
Here are 7 things you should definitely never say to someone suffering from a mental illness:
“Other people have it worse than you.”
You don’t think we know that already? Way to make us feel more guilty, asshole. This does not put life into perspective for us—though we appreciate you for trying. All this succeeds in is adding another layer into the complex hell we’ve created for ourselves inside our heads. And the worst part: we can’t help it.
Don’t you think we would if we could? I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience, mental illness is a complex thing: it’s not always black and white. Sometimes, we need that time to feel down. We need that time to process and validate our emotions—even if they’re not always logical. We need to let ourselves feel what we’re feeling—and that’s perfectly natural. Instead, try saying: “Be strong. I’m here for you.”
Support their emotions—and let them know you’re there for them.
“You’re sad all the time. I must be stronger than you.”
How about NO. People who experience sadness are not weak. And that’s a really insensitive thing to say to someone suffering a mental illness. Do you say oh, I haven’t broken any bones—therefore, I’m stronger than anyone who’s had broken bones? Nope. It is not weakness to experience emotions. One of the hardest things you can do is to wake up in the morning, and face the day when all you want to do is cease to exist—that, my friend, is strength. How dare you make someone feel worse, just because they feel things differently to you.