Wednesday, 11 May 2016

6 Things Not to Say to Someone who has Anxiety &/or Depression

Sorry about not posting anything last week, I had a bit of a health scare and wasn't able to bake/work/sleep very well/eat all the chocolate/post on this blog. So here's a little bonus post to make up for last week.

This post highlights some of the cringy statements that I have been asked about my mental health. So to inform and educate others I'm listing my favourites here. These are totally real and have been asked by strangers and former friends. Let's get to it. 

1) "Oh I was depressed once, but I got over it."
I've had this said to me and I was speechless. Instead of standing up for myself or questioning it, I took it on the chin. This is a very insulting thing to say to someone who is going through depression. Let's face it you didn't have depression as a suffer has, you might have been a bit down or sad at one point, but your mood improved and it passed. Depression is, sadly, constant and something you don't 'get over' in an instant.

2) "Do you rock back and forth when you have a panic attack?"
Erm no. People who have panic or anxiety attacks act differently. But assuming that an attack is sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth, is ignorant and far from the truth. It completely depends on the person. In my case, I hyperventilate, I shiver and will not allow anyone to touch me or attempt to calm me down until I feel calmer and more grounded.

3)"So you aren't you worried about what people will think of you?"
All the damn time. Mental health is still something that most people do not like to talk about and it's not really discussed. With anxiety, you're always thinking about what others will think of you: "Are they watching? They are watching. So don't fuck up. Keep it together for a bit and don't panic." Depression can get to a point where nothing matters but you still don't want people to think you 'can't cope'  with daily life. 

4)"You'll never hold down a job/relationship/friendship. It will stay on record for the rest of your life."
Sorry what? What record? My permanent record? Most strangers have their own problems to worry about, let alone your mental health. You don't need to advertise your mental health, unless you feel you want or need too. Your employer can't fire you, your true friends will stand by you and most families will understand. Most people are a little more informed now, so they should be understanding. Saying that some people still are pretty ignorant/stupid/stuck in the past or want to be hurtful. Ignore the idiots and pay them no more attention or energy. 

5)"Can you not snap out of it?"
Can you snap out of a cold? No. It's the same with any mental health problem. Just because you can't see it, does not mean that it's not there.

6) "It's not a real health problem."
I have a few choice words for anyone who says this. But let's keep this clean shall we? Walk away from any idiot who says this. They need to be educated more, you can attempt to give them information about mental health but, more often then not, they are stuck in their old way of thinking and it is a pointless endeavour. 

Remember people who suffer with any mental health issues need support, not doubtful statements which may cause more harm than good. Examples of the above statements can cause suffers not to communicate effectively and be hesitant to reach out to others. So listen, be respectful and support any ways you can.  

Bake On! Penny x
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