HELP!

Hiya peepsicles!

I’m not in serious need of help so don’t worry or call the fire brigade πŸ˜› I’m just wanting my readers help with some blog inspiration please.Β 

I would be super grateful if you could comment on the bottom of this post with examples of the most frustrating, unhelpful and irritating comments you’ve ever received in reference to your mental health when you’ve disclosed your difficulties to others. As someone with mental health issues myself I have to admit I sometimes get tremendously frustrated/borderline livid with how people who don’t have lived experience of mental illness respond to me. In my telly interview (which hasn’t been aired yet πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ™Š) I spoke about the importance of open conversations surrounding mental health, backing up the message from British royalty but in all honesty- I need input from you guys please so we can reach a collective consensus as to what is actually helpful, and what platitudes and sweeping statements are best left unsaid and unspoken.
I want to write a kind of anti useless platitude handbook.

My most liked post of all time on summerSHINES is #If depression is a choice. (There is a link to it on the ‘my most loved posts’ sidebar. In that post I wrote a simple rebuttal of a blog comment saying I needed to choose not to be depressed. If only beating clinical depression were that simple!

What other platitudes/inaccurate bullshit would you like me to rebutt? And what simple soothing statements, behaviours or responses tend to help you if you have a mental health issue and decide to bravely confide in someone for the first time?

I know what would be on my conversational do or don’t list…but I would appreciate integrating your viewpoints also, if you are happy to share πŸ™‚

Thanks in advance of your mental health conversation input.

SummerSHINES

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44 thoughts on “HELP!

  1. thedailyannagram says:

    From just this weekend:
    “Why can’t you just let it go?”
    “It doesn’t do you any good to keep wallowing in the past.”
    “All I want is for you to be happy. You’re still not happy, 30 yrs later. You need to move on.”
    “Maybe your medication has stopped working…”

    Liked by 5 people

    • summerSHINES says:

      Ugh. Lots of recognition from me as you describe those responses. I hope to correct the BS and make helpful counter-suggestions. Thanks for your input. What things actually help you feel better?

      Like

  2. Simon says:

    I can’t comment in this. But it would be useful to look back on and read to make sure I’m not being an idiot.
    There was one shouted to me about my son a while back:
    “Haven’t you sorted him out yet?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • summerSHINES says:

      That’s a rubbish comment to make. How unhelpful 😦 I’m not saying anyone is an idiot if they say things with good intentions that don’t help…but I am trying to share good practise and educate the general public on some general do’s and don’ts as people with mental health issues tend to hear very similar things from different people which are not always helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. StreetPsychiatrist says:

    I think whoever said depression is a choice should’ve said that the way to beat depression is to make a choice every day to find a way to become happier again. I’d like to think that’s what they meant. Major depression is debilitating enough to keep a person unmotivated from doing anything but that person can still make a choice to make their first step out of bed or set up a plan to start in some direction and that’s the only way to start lifting yourself out. I speak from experience remembering when I thought I had no choice but to be depressed; I’ve come a long way to be able to have that be “a choice” by learning as much as I could that helped me take each step toward conquering something I still deal with facing most days.
    With that being said; I’ve come to find most platitudes correct but not helpful toward addressing the lowest stages of a problem. One that stood out in my lifetime was things being “all in my head” or “mind over matter”. Both of these were true but it took the understanding of a lot of other things built toward being able to understand how these applied and were useful.
    One that I find hard for most people is “never giving up” when that person has already given up so much or to “always look for the positive in something” when a loved one has died or there’s a situation of great loss. Maybe you have some insight into what’s a much better starting point or phrase to use in those types of situations…

    Liked by 1 person

    • summerSHINES says:

      Thanks for your interesting input. It really helps. I think there are various shades of helpfulness of someone’s response to our distress. Some advice is hard to digest but ultimately true, but some advice is just undiluted bollocks. The wisdom is how easily you know which is which πŸ˜‚ I have softened my anger over the time about the depression being a choice comment…however it remains my most appreciated post by the majority of blog readers. Truth is usually grey and on a spectrum. I tend to write in extremes, reflecting my black and white BPD thinking style but I appreciate you’ve taken time to express the subtleties here. You’ve given me lots of ideas to think about. Thanks 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • StreetPsychiatrist says:

        Cool, I was hoping that would be the case… And I agree with you 100% on Grey lines and spectrums; now i know you definitely know what’s up just by mentioning that. Not that I was questioning it but it’s always good to see others mention truths like that

        Liked by 1 person

        • summerSHINES says:

          I have a lot of personal insight into myself and am aware of what the majority (the non-disordered) might think of how I think, compared to how they might think (if that makes sense). I guess I’ve internalised the stuff my therapist tells me…she keeps trying to get me to inhabit this middle ground path avoiding extremes (bless her and her quaint ways) πŸ˜› but I like to know that grey stuff exists but play in the black and white zones πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I find thinking in a balanced way literally mind bending…but I can do it better than I used to (which was not at all)!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • StreetPsychiatrist says:

            I can talk and walk grey all day but I usually find myself in the black and white playing. In a way, BPD helps to expand and define a more accurate middle ground while redefining limits… at least thats the way I look at mine. Even moderation should be taken in moderation. Its all balanced whether or not we want it to be; i think its just more about managing the lows one wants to deal with

            Liked by 1 person

            • summerSHINES says:

              That’s a fucking intelligent answer! I like your mind 😁 I like BPD thinking. I think BPD writers are appealing because our extremes allow us to paint vivid pictures that grey dwellers think are lucid and fabulous and un-ordinary. I love that quote “even moderation should be taken in moderation”! I’ll take that one to therapy with me next week 😁😁

              Liked by 1 person

  4. She-Ra says:

    When I was younger I struggled a lot with depression. From people who didn’t understand it, I would sometimes hear, “But you’re still OKAY, right?” (Meaning sure, you are depressed all the time, but you’re still functioning, right?). From my family I would hear, “Happiness is a choice. You are in control of your emotions.” Or, “You need to make more friends. Get out more, and have fun!” Or, “Cheer up! You don’t smile enough.”
    Then, in my late 20s, I survived a violent, traumatic sexual assault by a stranger. It became a high profile case in the media, everyone I worked with knew what had happened, and I had a complete and total breakdown. I took a tremendous amount of time off work (struggling through PTSD, depression, and a whole list of other awfulness). When I returned to work, I still wasn’t okay. A woman there whom I hardly knew came over to ask how I was doing. I told her, truthfully, that I was falling apart. Her response was, by far, the most comforting thing anyone has ever said to me. With the most heartfelt sincerity, she said, “Oh my god, that’s awful! What are we going to do about this?!”
    I don’t know how other people would have reacted upon hearing that, but for me it meant everything. She used the word “We”. What are WE going to do about this? I was in a place where I was so sad, so messed up, so alone, and she came along and basically threw me a rope that said ‘I’ve got you’. I needed that so, so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. BelleUnruh says:

    Bullshit:
    “Aren’t you over that yet?” (sister)
    “Just give it to the Lord.” (like I haven’t?)
    “Are you still crying over Craig?” (My husband, two weeks after our grandson died)
    “Have you taken your pill today?” (Zoloft doesn’t work like that; you are thinking of Ativan, which I wish I had.)
    “Do you know what you are doing to Dad? You are lucky he stays with you.”
    (Well, yes, but he has done far worse to me; and I was with him and still am with him through his illnesses. Cancer, operations)

    Helpful:
    Embrace your mental illness! Lol My youngest sister said that.
    I’m sorry. (As in, I’m sorry you feel sad.)
    Hugging me, holding me. (Husband.)
    It’s okay, Mom.
    You’ve been a great mother.
    I’m always here for you. (My husband.)
    I’m glad we are together and we have had a good life together. (husband)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. emergingfromthedarknight says:

    One of the most hurtful things said to me when my sister died was that she wouldnt want me to be grieving and I shouldnt be sad. πŸ˜•. The others are “you need to count your blessings” or about my panic attacjs “well just decide today you won’t have a panic attack..??? That last one really is laughable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bethanyk says:

    β€œYour anxiety is coming from thoughts. If you can just control your thoughts and redirect your thoughts you can fix your anxiety” ….if i could control my anxiety by controlling my thoughts then that would be fabulous!!! But I cannot. Same with PTSD. I cannot control my mind’s reaction to triggers. If I could I wouldn’t be paying thousands of dollars to learn new coping mechanisms through therapy.
    β€œTourette syndrome makes people do crazy things and cuss, do you do that?” It is rare that anyone with TS cusses or does anything β€œcrazy”. Most have a mild form that causes tics and it is a neurological disorder. The social media, movies, tv, that show EVERYONE. With Tourette syndrome acting bizerk make it such a sigma that no one admits they have it. It is more common that nyou think

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tenacity T says:

    I can’t comment on Mental Health but I can comment that most people who have never dealt or have gone through something that you have will never have anything positive to say. They think they can have judgement on someone of the way they’d handle things except you never really know how you will until your standing in someone else’s shoes!! 😘 you

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Liz says:

    Yes, I have had someone say to me to let the past stay in the past. (Which did not help, because that’s what I used to try and do till I had the counselling as I talked about on my blog.)

    When I first ever taken antidepressants I was told to not take them by a couple of people, as they were addictive. Again, another comment not helpful when I was already reassured about them at my doctors etc, but still did not need to hear, as it was a very scary time for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Twinkle toes 79 says:

    My experience is that those whom are lucky enough to of suffered or experienced mental hearh themselves are the hardest to endure. My parents are my worst experience. I hid for years the mental, emotional & physical abuse from them. Blissfully unaware. So 1 day after 6 long years, I got the courage to boot said abuser out the door! Yay me! Nope that’s where the real struggle has begun. Parents, children, family & friends ‘expected’ that after suitable mourning time of the relationship I would bounce back to the once cheery, sunshiny twinkle toes! Yeah right. No the aftermath has been the worst part. And as myself & said abuser share i child, i on many occasions still have to suffer the abuse & mental torture. Which the triggers old wounds. So to the friends, family, parents & co workers who say, ‘you just need to get over it!, he’s gone now, what’s the problem? Why do you still let them get to you, why did/do you let it happen, oh I could go on all day with what’s been said to me in the four years since he’s gone all day. But all of you who’ve suffered you know. Sometimes being on the survivor journey can be the hardest part. If it were as easy as waving a wand, well we would all do that instantly. None of us ask to endure this. All we seek is understanding, comfort, & someone to hold our hand through the darkness, as & when it arrives. Sadly there’s no definite cure to mental health. Yes the medications, therapy, etc, but do we ever fully recover? I’m not sure. But together let’s support one another, us in the ‘gang’ that get it! Because I wouldn’t wish the abuse, suffering or aftermath on anyone. So I’ve found it’s more effective to find & seek those who do get me & my story, rather than struggling to get my closet people to understand. Love, light, peace & strength to you all. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • summerSHINES says:

      I love this and I’m sure anyone who reads your thoughtful comment will get pause for thought. Getting over an abusive relationship and still having to see that person because you had a child together must be horrendously difficult. As you say you are being retriggered lots. What’s good is it can tell a change in your compared to when we first started chatting. You have really expanded your psychological insight which doesn’t solve the problem but has to be a good thing. At least you understand what’s going on. Well done babes xx πŸ’–

      Like

  11. Rayne says:

    Someone who I won’t even bother mentioning (he’s not worth it) telling me that there’s no such thing as mental illness, just people with strong minds, and those with weaker minds. The “strong minded” people also experience depression, etc, but don’t let it settle into their minds, and ruin their lives. They just move forward. Trying to argue with this person is like trying to argue with a wall… So I don’t even bother anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 1Wise-Woman says:

    My most recent irritating response was something about what you put out to the universe comes back to you… like if I just think happy thoughts all the time, then the happiness will come back. Oh what a simple answer that would be!! Similar to the always useful, “you just need to spend more time in nature” response. I would like it if only people who actually have walked in my shoes gave me advice… and I guess that would be no one, lol! I get it that most of the time, people are just wanting to be helpful, but it’s hard to hear when they have no idea what it’s like to be me. Love to you ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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