5 Comments That Can Be Harmful to Individuals With A Mental Illness

5 Comments That Can Be Harmful to Individuals With A Mental Illness

With May being Mental Health Month (or Mental Health Awareness Month) I’ve been thinking about different topics to write about and share. 

I’ve talked about my Anxiety recently, and there is no end to what I would discuss about that. I could also address depression, self-care, OCD. But, I wanted to share something that sort of encompasses all that.

While [most] mean well, there are things you are saying that may be harming Individuals With A Mental Illness.

There needs to be more awareness of what’s being said to someone with a Mental Illness, and what comments may be harming them.

5 Comments That Can Be Harmful to Individuals With A Mental Illness

5 Comments That Can Be Harmful to Individuals With A Mental Illness

“I’m SO OCD about […]”

While many of us are particular about things, this doesn’t mean you have OCD. OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a chronic condition in which a person has uncontrollable thoughts and urges that are generally, life alerting. 

These thoughts and urges cannot be controlled and can cause severe anxiety in individuals.

Joking about your organizational tendencies is extremely harmful.

“If I did it, so can you!”

This actually, is not true. Everyone is different, and what we can handle, accomplish or do as individuals, will vary.

These comments can be harmful to someone’s self-esteem, and make their anxiety worse when they’re struggling.

While you may feel the confidence in someone to start or finish a task, doesn’t mean they have that confidence in themselves.

“Everything will work out/be okay.”

This is one comment I hear most often and personally struggle with the most.

In theory, they know that everything will be okay. At that moment, they don’t foresee it happening, and can’t see an outcome that would make “everything okay.”

The process is complicated for many to manage, or even consider. This comment tells them what they are feeling or thinking isn’t justified.

“Think Positive” / “stop being so negative.”

What makes you think that a person can change their outlook because you suggested it? It’s a slow process. You may be able to quickly see something from a positive POV, but not everyone can. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A lot of time, the person needs to vent. Other times, their OCD won’t let them stop obsessing. It just isn’t a switch that can be turned on/off.

“You seem fine to me.”

I’ve always joked how those with mental illness, are great actors. While it’s not always easy to hide how they’re really feeling, they do, and they’re great at it. 

Don’t always take what you see on the surface as face value. There’s more going on than I’m sure you realize.  

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3 thoughts on “5 Comments That Can Be Harmful to Individuals With A Mental Illness

  1. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

    Oh that “You seem fine to me” kills me. Or they make the comment that too many people are diagnosed with whatever illness, and it’s just the doctor’s wanting to make money. These drive me insane. They don’t understand what’s in my head and how it agonizes me. Their comments just make me feel worse. I wish people would learn more about how to treat people with mental illness.

  2. Kristina

    All of thoses are pinpoint !

    Mom is specially good to rip out the “Stop being so negative!” one, specially when i’d told her I was fearing to have a panic at work and what would I do and stuff. like- im sorry, but I cannot CONTROL a panic attack! It doesn’t always works. Every time I end up in a fury and just stop trying.
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