Talking Mental Health
When talking with others about mental health and the labels that come with it, the subject came up about how people”talk”to us. Let’s go there.
Some of us live in a world of having labels placed on us such as crazy, psycho, having a condition, unstable, sick, disturbed, having a screw loose, nuts, attention seekers etc. We are none of the above. People who have mental health issues want to be treated and talked to like a “normal” person. We’re not broken, dumb or incapable of understanding, feeling and wanting to be accepted. We are not “less than” in any way shape or form. We’ve been around the block more than others..so what? Life hasn’t been kind to most of us and eventually, it starts to appear. We didn’t ask for it, plan on it and we most certainly don’t want it. It happened and we have to deal with it. So don’t label or judge something you don’t understand.
We don’t need to be talked down to, belittled or made to feel like we don’t fit in because of our situation. People need to stop dwelling on and worrying about our shit. We do that enough. Treat us with dignity and respect. We’re still human.
In taking with others there many things that came up we all had in common. One that really stood out was other people questioning if we are sure we’re “ok” while putting us in a separate box from others. Publicly asking those things are humiliating, patronizing, degrading and hurtful. Well meaning thoughts and words from loved ones and close friends are sometimes the most hurtful and do more damage than good. Fake sympathy is spotted ten miles away and we don’t want it. If you really want to help us then learn about our issue, try to understand and accept us the way we are. It’s not hard to be a decent human even to someone who is “fucked up” in the head.
Talk to us. Be honest and open about your concerns or helpful ideas in private. Don’t talk about us and our mental health to others. Don’t show fake sympathy. Ask us sincerely to help you understand us. Don’t treat us like we are weird, broken or don’t belong in normal settings. Don’t act like we need to be babied. We’re not somebody’s project. Don’t put limits on us or tell us we can’t do something. Encourage us to push ourselves to succeed.
We’re human. We have issues. So does everyone else at some level. Our shit is always public. I don’t know why but why don’t people spill all of their dirt instead of ours?
Because we go to therapy or special groups don’t judge or tell us we are stupid or ridiculous. Maybe you’re just worried we’re talking about you. We aren’t. We are trying to learn ways to cope, handle things and behave better. We’re a support to each other because we can relate to each other when others don’t get us.
For hell’s sake please don’t make us the talk of the neighborhood. The crazy, out of control person who lives next door, that nobody gets. If you know we’re struggling bring us a meal or our our favorite treat. Come and visit us just because. Offer to take us for a ride. See if we need to go to the store. Listen sincerely. Don’t try to fix us or our problems. Talk to us with dignity and respect. We don’t need or want to be singled out. Please accept us and love us for who we are, not who we aren’t.
More Love. Less Hate. H