Let me put it out there, there is no shame in getting help for a psychiatric illness. NONE!
Mental health is fluid, it can change for a myriad of reasons. A shitty childhood, genetics, trauma, biology, circumstances, sometimes all of it but most importantly sometimes without any recognizable reason whatsoever. So when you say things like ‘What do you have to be depressed about?’ or ‘Get your shit together’ or ‘I have it worse than you, but I am handling it’, you aren’t helping. If you are handling whatever it is that you are handling, then good for you, but everybody has different sensitivities and past experiences, it could also be that someone is tired of having had to handle themselves over and over again.
When a person had been living with a psychiatric illness for a long time, they also develop a kind of bullshit sensor, simple definition- we will know bullshit when we hear it! That comes from having to listen to the plethora of ‘advice’ that come our way on a daily basis. And, hence the above-mentioned sort of statements are only going to keep people from coming to you for help.
There are a group of people out there who have decided to make a race out of who has had the most fucked up life. They want to tell you that they had been through a lot and survived, not with the intention of letting you know that there is hope for you too, instead,they just want you to know that your problems do not measure up to theirs. When the language of survivors go from ” If I could get through it, so can you ” to ” If I could get through it, so SHOULD you ” then we have survivor’s arrogance. And, that should stop!!
So be very clear on one thing folks, you don’t have to earn any right to feel the way you are feeling. You don’t owe the world any explanation for your demons. And, don’t feel smaller for having to take your meds. We all need help at times.
There is a great chance that you cannot fix somebody using just your words, think of it as trying to put a band-aid on an internal wound. But you might be able to make them feel a bit better in that moment by listening without judgments. And, ask questions to know things, don’t just make assumptions. Here are are some statements/ questions my friends and family used that has helped me in the past – ‘What can I do to help?, ‘I am here for you’ ‘I am sorry you feel this way’ and finally one of the simplest and powerful, ‘How are you today?’
Let’s all be kind with our words today.
Good day everyone
PS: A person on the verge of suicide can looking absolutely fine on the outside.