“My friend is constantly anxious and I keep telling her to just calm down.”
“My brother is in and out of depression, he’s nothing like this around everyone else... he needs to snap out of it.”
“My girlfriend is still suffering from past traumas and it’s annoying. I don’t wanna deal with all that.”
Dealing with a mental illness is just as frustrating for the individual as it is for their friends and family. Selfishly, those that are on the outside looking in fail to understand these two very important things:
Nothing we do or feel is by choice
The more you acknowledge the illness and not the person, it dehumanizes us, causing us to reveal less of our true selves and more of the shadow that is our mental illness
Communication is hard enough while trying to explain something we don’t have all the answers to, but it becomes even harder while someone is forcing us to do so, so that they can be okay with us not being okay.
Instead... try this.
Ask constructive questions, not those that are offensive and abrasive:
“Why are you feeling the way you’re feeling, help me understand?”
“What do you need from me at this time?”
“Do you want me to give you some time alone?”
in addition to...
“You can talk to me if you need to.”
“I don’t know how to help you right now but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to.”
as opposed to...
“You tweakin’, forreal.”
“You’re choosing to act like this right now.”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with you.”
“Maybe you should consider medication.”
THAT SH*T IS NOT HELPFUL!
This is your test of consideration, understanding, maturity & patience.
The moment your approach is less crass, the more willing the individual is to not only speak their mind but listen to your opinions.
Donot handicap someone with a mental illness. Sometimes, it’s non intentional. Nevertheless, be aware of whether or not you’re helping or enabling a person. Donot decide what a person can or cannot handle. Donot assume a person cannot handle certain situations. Donot cradle, console.
Do not minimalize their illness. For example:
“You don’t have anxiety, it’s just your nerves, you’ll be fine.” — Wrong, b*tch.
“He’s just in his feelings, he isn’t depressed... so dramatic.” — Wow... really, b*tch?
“It’s all in your head.” — Oohhh, so you wanna FIGHT fight?
Mental Illness does not correlate with WEAKNESS.
It does not correlate with DISABILITY.
It does not correlate with PITY.
Our minds and emotions are already working against us, the least you can do is know how to be there for us.
Favor, Peace & Blessings.