Thursday, 3 August 2017

I’m over ‘get over it’

There are many terms that reinforce the stigma around mental health. And I’m sick of them. Every time you use an out-dated, offensive and utterly unhelpful remark it tells me that my mental illness isn't legitimate. 

Here are some of the worst offenders that I'm totally over.

Get over it.
If only it were that simple to abandon all worries, fears and insecurities... 

Look on the bright side.
Oh thanks hun, I’ll be sure to keep my anxiety-ridden negativity to myself in future.

It’ll get better.
Now that YOU say it, I suddenly believe it! Yes, it will get better, but when? How much longer do I have to feel like this? When will the pain finally end?

It’s so depressing.
No hun, depression isn’t an adjective. It’s an illness. And what you’re feeling right now, what you think is comparable to my illness, is not depression. Also said as "Everyone gets depressed/depression at some point."

“It’s all in your head.”
I know it’s in my head, which is why its so all-consuming and I can’t escape it.

“Maybe you should go back to therapy if it's that bad.”
Do you think it's that easy to walk into an appointment? Ever hear of waiting lists? Understaffing? Lack of resources? In an ideal world we'd all be in therapy, not just those of us who are struggling. 

“You’re getting worked up over nothing.”
This. Does. Not. Feel. Like. Nothing.

You should try meditation.
I've tried most things to help with mental health at this stage, including meditation. It doesn't work for me but sure, keep making helpful suggestions. Also filed under "You should try exercise/God/journaling and other countless tips."

“You shouldn't take medication for your depression.
Seriously? What makes you think that you have a right to tell me how to manage my mental illness? Why are you trying to shame me for managing my mental illness?

“But you don't have that anymore, do you?”
Is there a time limit on mental illness I didn't know about? Am I meant to be recovered by now? Am I less of a person if I do still have it? Why do I now suddenly feel like a failure?

What unhelpful and insensitive phrases are you over when it comes to mental health? Have you got any to add to my list?

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