5 Things That People With Mental Health Disorders Don't Want to Hear

Being on a college campus, you come across a lot of different people.  With that said, some are more educated on the topic of mental health than others.  I have overheard some conversations in the dining hall, or even on people’s social media accounts and some of the things people say infuriate me. I know they might not mean it as literally as they portray it, but as someone struggling with a mental health disorder, it’s offensive.  Here are some of the things that I’ve seen, heard or my friends have told me they’ve experienced themselves.

  1. “I know exactly how you feel!”

Do you though? Do you know how it feels to not be able to get out of bed?  To feel like crying when absolutely everything in your life is going perfect? When you feel like your life is crashing down because you think that all of your friends hate you. It’s so much more than what people think.  One of my favorite quotes that I’ve seen is “from the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand.  From the inside looking out, it’s hard to explain.”  That quote really sums everything up; it may seem so irrelevant to someone why I’m anxious but to me, it really feels like I’m stuck.  At the time, it seems like everything is falling apart.  When people say they know exactly how I feel, I know deep down they’re trying to help, but if you haven’t experienced it, it really is hard to understand how I’m feeling. 

2. “It’ll be alright, calm down” “Just relax”

These are some of the most frustrating things to hear from a loved one.  Saying to just “calm down” in the moment is so hard to do.  If it were that easy to just calm down, this whole situation wouldn’t be happening in the first place!  In that moment, it feels like it won’t be alright and it is extremely difficult to calm yourself down.  Obviously, it will eventually be okay, but for the time being, it is so difficult trying to bring yourself back and realize it will be okay. In the moment it all feels horrible.  

3. “It’s not that big of a deal”

Not that big of a deal?!  Do you see how I feel right now?  This is the same thing as saying to someone “Oh, you just had massive surgery? It’s not that big of a deal!”  The fact that I am having these thoughts is a big deal.  The thoughts inside my head are real and hard to explain.  Saying that it’s not a big deal is so devastating to hear and honestly makes me feel worse. 

4. “What you’re experiencing is fake”

The fact that some people in today’s society even believe that mental health disorders are fake is so degrading.  Although it is hard for the person on the outside to see, the thoughts are very much real and are very hard to deal with.  When you’re upset and hear that someone thinks that what you’re feeling is fake, is not a good feeling.          

5. “It’s all in your head”

Sometimes, the feelings are so real that they come along with physical symptoms as well.  Saying that it’s all in your head is a false accusation.  Some of the physical symptoms include stomach pains, headaches and various other symptoms; they can vary from person to person.  So, the thoughts are not all in your head, despite what others think. 

As you can see, there are a variety of different things that we hear throughout our day regarding accusations on mental health.  In order to avoid this, be there for your friend or loved one.  Sit with them and ask what you can do to help because each person deals with it differently.  One might want to be alone and one might want you to grab a blanket and sit with them.  The best and most helpful thing you can do is be there for them.