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People Are Sharing The Worst Thing Anyone Has Said To Them About Mental Illness

People are using #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness to share their real-life experiences with unhelpful or insensitive comments.

Posted on May 9, 2018, at 5:03 p.m. ET

Opening up about mental illness can be cathartic, but it can also bring a wave of unsolicited advice and opinions.

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And yes, they can be bad, as in ignorant, uninformed, and hurtful.

Hattie Gladwell, a reporter with Metro, a UK newspaper, asked people to share the most unhelpful and insensitive things people have said about mental illness using the tag #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness.

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

@hatttiegladwell / Twitter

The replies are an eye-opening look at how often people misunderstand mental illnesses and talk about them in ways that are less than helpful.

If someone you know has a mental illness or a disorder that affects their mental health, here are some things they probably wish you knew.

1. How you feel on one day has nothing to do with how you feel on another.

It's all just an excuse, you were feeling alright the other day! #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@AdamHoward2000 / Twitter

2. You don't magically grow out of mental illness.

It's because you are still young and not enough busy. When you'll have a job and a family, all these thoughts will disappear. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@JaneElle800 / Twitter

3. Just because other people have issues doesn't mean yours aren't real.

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

@wolfetone98 / Twitter

4. Even people who work in health care can say garbage things.

‘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 #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@DrEm_79 / Twitter

5. No one should get a guilt trip about their health.

Hospital psychiatrist, the morning after my suicide attempt: "And have you thought about what you're putting your parents through?" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/HljZ4Vfaiv

@MaxTheNinjaDog / Twitter

6. Depression is an illness — not an excuse.

[in the midst of the worst depressive episode of my life]: "I feel like you're using depression as an excuse, as a crutch. I don't see you trying." #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/uUZUIFp2mi

@MikalSalaam / Twitter

7. You can't just snap out of it.

"You need to snap out of this - you are not helping yourself" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/wNEj9nTl2o

@staceylou_blog / Twitter

8. Having obsessive compulsive disorder doesn't mean you just like to clean a lot.

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

@AlongCameLydia / Twitter

9. You have a right to take mental illness into consideration when making choices.

‘You need to get over that’ - from an endocrinologist when I told her I was reluctant to take the pill because it exacerbated my mental health problems. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/b89bHjY9fo

@AmyClarkin / Twitter

10. If ~positivity~ could cure illness, you wouldn't need doctors.

#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness People who tell you that positive thinking is the key to battling depression. Oh thank you! Thank you! Before you came along, it literally never occurred to me to try and think positively. I'm cured! https://t.co/dGLHs84lZn

@TariyePeterside / Twitter

11. You deserve to have your health taken seriously.

The most unhelpful thing I heard was "You're not serious" after a suicide attempt. This was said by a psychiatric nurse. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/5OAEp9MHyq

@Meandmymhmmatter / Twitter

12. Mental illness isn't childish — it's real.

#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness “you need to grow up and stop acting like a child” I have BPD and depression.

@erinsblurbs / Twitter

13. And it has nothing to do with how ~good~ your life might appear to others.

Mom: You’re a kid, what do you have to be sad about? #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@ALISHANANDI / Twitter

14. It's an illness, not a decision.

you know the difference between right and wrong, just make the right decisions! #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness (in reference to compulsive overeating disorder)

@yeahalixx / Twitter

15. There's no such thing as "looking" like you have a mental illness.

You don’t look like you’re mentally ill #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@thatgirlwithbpd / Twitter

16. Having a mental illness doesn't mean you're selfish.

When I told someone I was suicidal: “How do you think that makes me feel to hear that?! You’re selfish.” #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@TheMuslimHippie / Twitter

17. No one can tell you that your feelings aren't valid.

When I had an ectopic pregnancy and was told i didn’t need help via counselling as I couldn’t be depressed over something that wasn’t even a baby #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@curly_wurly85 / Twitter

18. Mental illness isn't a choice.

#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness “anorexia is a choice, just snap out of it and eat”

@light70lbs / Twitter

19. Mental illness is not about you.

"you're ruining his night" whilst having a panic attack :)) #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@itsyagril / Twitter

20. Unsolicited advice isn't necessary or helpful.

"Pray, go to church & God will heal your anxiety/depression, you don't need therapy, medication doesn't really work." 🙄 #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/6k8sO46Nqk

@Lady_Star_Gem / Twitter

21. Mental illness isn't a fad or trend.

“You can’t have OCD, your folder is a mess!” “Oh no!1!! I have to touch the toaster 5 times or I’ll get in a car crash!1” “Oh, I have OCD too. I can’t stand crooked picture frames.” #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

@XElxse / Twitter

22. It's OK to listen more and talk less.

I could list my own experiences, but from reading tweets concerning this hashtag, the fact we have enough to write a book is heartbreaking. Please take the time to read people’s experiences, and learn. Open your eyes. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Or you can reach suicide helplines outside the US too.

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