World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2010

I thought I would share this, I found it on a friend’s blog and thought it was very good for educating people on this day in particluar about mental illness and what NOT to say to the person affected:

‘You can will yourself better.’
‘I think this is your way of punishing me.’
‘It’s your own fault.’
‘I just want to make you feel better.’
‘It’s all in your head.’
‘You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.’
‘Why are you doing this to yourself?’
‘You could feel better if you wanted to.’
‘Why are you making yourself miserable?’
‘You don’t need all those medications.’
‘Why do you hurt yourself?’
‘There’s no such thing as mental illness.’
‘You must not be living right.’
‘What do I have to do to make you feel better?’
‘You’re just being lazy.’
‘You don’t want to be happy.’
‘If you loved me, you wouldn’t act this way.’
‘You could change it if you really want to.’
‘If you won’t change for you, do it for…’
‘You are what you think you are.’
‘There’s nothing wrong with you.’
‘You do it to yourself.’
‘You must want to be unhappy.’
“You just want pity.’
What’s your problem?’
‘Happiness is a choice.’
‘You just want attention.’
‘You don’t ‘look’ depressed.’
‘Have you got PMS?’
‘You’d feel better if you would stop going to see all these shrinks and throw away those pills.’

Condescending or Patronizing

‘If you were right with God this wouldn’t be happening to you.’
‘Have you been praying?’
‘You would feel better if you went to church.’
‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger.’
‘Look at the sunny side of life and make the best of it.’
‘You’ll be a better person because of it.’
‘Your problem is…’
‘You’d feel better if you (insert unsolicited advice here)…’
‘Did you forget to take your meds?’
‘We all have battles.’
‘We have to get together some time soon.’ (If you don’t mean it)
‘Everyone feels sad sometimes.’
‘Nothing is wrong with you.’
‘Smile and the world smiles with you; cry, and you cry alone.’
‘You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.’
‘I know how you feel.’
‘Things could always get worse.’
‘It’s not really that bad.’
‘What do you have to feel down about?’
‘You need therapy.’
‘Who ever said life is fair?’
‘Are you trying to be a martyr?’
‘If you turn to Jesus he will make you feel better.’
‘You know there comes a time in your life, when you just have to sit down and decide what is important to you.’
‘You just need to take care of yourself.’
‘You’re wasting your life. You have so much potential.’
‘Your life can’t be THAT bad.’
‘You’d feel better if you lost some weight.’
‘My life isn’t perfect either.’
‘Get control over yourself.’
‘You just need a swift kick in the butt.’
‘You can’t let the past bother you. You have to let it go.’
‘You need to grow up.’
‘You’re only hurting yourself.’
‘We all have our crosses to bear.’
‘I thought you were stronger than that.’

A friend once said to me “It could be worse, you’ve never been raped or molested”, I haven’t but for all she knows I could have been and then how would I have felt hearing that? I’ve heard a lot of these especially the religious ones and I know personally how they have made me feel, people need to realise that it is not our fault. People with mental health difficulties already blame themselves enough for the way they feel, they need your love and support. Spread the word.



  1. I have heard so many of them and it makes me wanna scream! I dont think some people will want to understand better! I have been told that others with mental health problems are a bad influence on me and that my meds make me worse (and fat!). I have the ignorance surrounding mental health!

  2. The religious ones especially make me cringe. So many times I’ve wanted to scream at people, Jesus isn’t the answer — he’s the freakin’ problem!! … though it’s more often the people who claim to represent Jesus that are the real problem. Gahhh!

    Challenge: having identified all the things not to say, can you come up with a list of things to say? Probably impossible, but thought I’d throw it into the mix…

    • Oohh yes! What a great idea 🙂 I’ll try and do that. And yes the religious ones have been said to me and thats why i left my church, when I said I wasnt feeling very good mentally I got asked “Have you been praying?” x

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