Mental illness can be a topic many people don’t understand. In a world where we look at symptoms to determine if someone is well or not, it’s difficult to categorise mental disorders. For people who don’t get the complexities and nuances of the brain, mental illness can be something made up or exaggerated. And sometimes people go as far as to typecast the patient as- mad.
People on twitter who have been going through a similar issues shared their grievances on social media. In a thread with the hashtag ‘Things people have said about my mental illness’ they shared the worst things that have been said to them about their mental health.
Because you know anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders are nothing. Patients are just trying to seek attention and if they got out, get a little fresh air all their problems would be solved.
It all started with Twitter user Hattie Gladwell sharing her own story and urging her followers to do the same.
Quote this tweet with the most unhelpful/insensitive thing someone has said to you about your mental illness.
I’ll start: One person told me I didn’t need medication, I just needed to be more motivated to cope with my mental health. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— hattie gladwell (@hatttiegladwell) May 6, 2018
Soon, the thread became viral and people started opening up about their own experiences.
1. This was a trained professional.
I have anxiety and at its most severe I saw a therapist who said to me “You just worry too much” 😑
Suffice to say, I never saw her again. pic.twitter.com/0McJn2xEWp
— Lady A (@AllLadyA) May 6, 2018
2. Oh my god. I just can’t.
“Everyone has a stressful job, I have a stressful job, what makes you think yours should be treated as better than everyone else?” – from a therapist after my suicide attempt.
I asked if he really thought that was helpful, “I’m not here to help you, you need to help yourself”
— Joe (@joesgotcrohns) May 6, 2018
3. A doctor said this. Wow.
Doctor: “You have a victim mentality.“
Friend 1: ”Cheer up!”
Friend 2: “What have you got to worry about?”
Many (no longer) friends *crickets*
Super friends: “Just come over in your pj’s. You don’t have to talk. I’ll cook you dinner.” #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— Karen is Percivalsmum 🎨 (@percivalsmum) May 7, 2018
4. A close call.
Not to me, but my mum was feeling suicidal and went to her doctor saying she was worried she might kill herself.
The doctor GENUINELY told her to “come back in three weeks and see how [she] feels then”.
Luckily, the paramedics took her more seriously & she’s since recovered.
— Lady A (@AllLadyA) May 6, 2018
5. Yes, having kids is the solution. Great.
Another one, I said Mum I'm depressed. She said you need to have some kids, you wouldn't have time to be depressed. You've got too much time on your hands😳😂
— krazedkate-artist (@krazedkate) May 7, 2018
6. “I pity his wife”. How insensitive can you get?
After a panic attack at work – a week after I came back from being on the sick with anxiety and depression;
Boss: ‘you can’t do that, stuff like that scares people. You can’t do that’
— Alessandra (@Pinksandi) May 6, 2018
7. Everyone is different.
Wow, where to start with this one?!
“Other people have it much worse than you do.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
“Everyone else is dealing with life, so why can’t you?”
“You’re being selfish.”#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/tPySjTJeJh
— Paddy O'Brien (@wolfetone98) May 6, 2018
8. Thanks Sherlock. That thought never came to me.
#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness Just try to think positive for once, it's all in your head
— Sophie D. (@Sophie9131) May 6, 2018
9. Some people just aren’t willing to understand.
#Thingspeoplehavesaidaboutmymentalillness "What do you mean you are disabled by anxiety? We all have anxiety!" Anxiety (disorder) from PTSD isn't what everyone has. Crippling panic attacks and unknown triggers are my daily life. Don't judge something because you don't understand.
— 🦈NrrrdGrrrl🏒🥅 (@_NrrrdGrrrl_) May 7, 2018
10. This is so sad.
"You don't look depressed."
"Why haven't you killed yourself yet?"
"I think you have a problem with rejection." (After I said I was scared to leave my abusive ex.)
All said by medical professionals. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— Ida Väisänen (@Idaisdepressed) May 6, 2018
11. People just don’t get it.
It's all just an excuse, you were feeling alright the other day! #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— Adam Howard (@AdamHoward2000) May 6, 2018
12. This was said to her at the age of 12. Shocking.
‘If you self harm here, we’ll lock you up and throw away the key’
‘You lost the right to have a say when you stopped eating’
‘Do you ever want to see your family again?’
‘Anorexia is just vanity’
-Age 12, in an eating disorder unit
— Em (@DrEm_79) May 7, 2018
— nicole eloise brooks 🌻🦉 (@NicoleEloise27) May 6, 2018
14. There’s a stark difference.
*After opening up about mental health struggles*
Friend : Yeah but everyone suffered from mental health issues. Everyone does.
Me : But… you’re not bipolar? You have stress when you have school exams. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— SM (@LipStainsSM) May 7, 2018
15. OCD isn’t something to be used lightly.
I told someone I had OCD and their reply was "oh so you like to clean then". I said, "no, I struggle with intrusive thoughts and worry about bad things happening". Their reply then was, "oh, so you're just superstitious?" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/deyKPMRiE1
— Lydia 🌹❄️ (@AlongCameLydia) May 6, 2018
16. “It’s all in your head”, slow clap.
#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness you know your not really ill it's all in you're head don't you .
— Bob Smith (@BobSmit92526499) May 6, 2018
17. Can’t even with these people.
“you’re doing this for attention”
“depression isn’t real”
“you just need a different mind set”
“you’re faking it”
“you want to kill yourself? *grabs knives from drawer, sets them all in front of me* cut yourself & we’ll bury you outside.”#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— veronica sawyer (@acidtrippedme) May 7, 2018
18. It’s an illness, not a choice.
— 18 days (@emilyviolettx) May 6, 2018
19. Oh God.
“Just stop overreacting, you’re such a hypochondriac” 🤬#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
— Charlotte Underwood (Author) (@CUnderwoodUK) May 6, 2018
20. This is so saddening.
“It’s attention seeking” (eating disorders)
“You sound like a psycho” (being sectioned)
“Try NOT being sad” (depression)
“Snap out of it” (all)
“Lots of people have it worse than you”
“You don’t look ill”
“I wish I was anorexic”#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/xEXDdf8y8M
— Juliette Burton (@JulietteBurton) May 7, 2018
21. Yes, a bath can fix everything, totally.
Don’t worry about these distressing thoughts, just have a bath, wiggle your big toe and get on with it
— Andrea Wade ✨🌍 (@its0kaytotalk) May 6, 2018
22. How does one “snap” out of it?
— Stacey Barber (@staceylou_blog) May 6, 2018
It’s heartbreaking how insensitive people can be and this thread just brought tears to my eyes.
Let’s try to be more understanding and accepting so that we can make the world a happier and healthier place. And I think more people need to open up about their mental illness so that we can spread awareness about the issue. Till then, let’s be nicer humans, shall we?
Cover Image Courtesy- Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment