You’re probably aware that the people you hang out with have a significant impact on your happiness. Many have a support group, or even only one person, who has assisted us in expressing our emotions and making sense of our thoughts. However, there are also negative people who, despite their good intentions, make us feel worse. This is a challenge because mental disorder still has a negative stigma attached to it, and sufferers do not want another excuse to believe there is something not right with them.
So, to stop being one of those people that makes us feel misunderstood, here are some reminders about some of the things you should be mindful of when interacting with someone with a mental illness.
1. Mental illness affects people in many ways, and everybody isn’t the same
Not all mental illnesses are the same. We are all unique individuals that face unique challenges. Different causes and coping strategies exist for each of us. Simply because something works for one person does not mean it would work for others. Well, they all seem to be “normal.” Even those who suffer from mental illness can find it challenging to comprehend the mental health of others. It has different effects on different people. It can even impact you differently on various days; many days we can handle it as if it doesn’t exist, while other days, it feels like a trap within our minds and bodies.
2. We don’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else
To be in a toxic relationship is similar to having a mental illness. It is bad for your wellbeing, and it creates internal strife and tension, but at the end of the day, you are always the same person who wants a mate, not advice on how to fix things. When a friend confides in you about their mental illness, they are expressing their confidence in you. This is presumably the person’s usually because they have been living with their disease for a long time.
3. It’s not all in our heads, after all
Nothing irritates us more than being told that we are just overthinking stuff. We were told we are simply “shy” and wanted to “get out of the shell” for the majority of our adolescence and early adult years. For one thing, we trusted those who said it. Maybe if we only made some friends and gained some self-confidence, we could be unstoppable. Our social fears and anxiety, on the other hand, stemmed from a chemical imbalance in the brain, not from a behavioural problem. Second, those remarks made us feel less confident in ourselves. If we couldn’t snap out of it and be “human,” we would think there was something wrong with us.
4. We don’t always have an explanation for why we’re down
We have found that others have difficulty comprehending this. It is safe to believe that mental illness is induced by a life occurrence for someone who has never experienced it. It can be the result of life events like bereavement or losing your work, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be a cause for mental illness. Anyone is susceptible. People used to believe there to be a reason why we were feeling down and having a bad day when there was no one, and we could not justify why we are feeling the way we were feeling until they understood about our mental illness.
5. We’re just exhausted
Anxiety causes a physical reaction in us. Our hearts are racing, our chests are heavy, our senses are on high alert, and breathing is difficult. We’re good at covering it sometimes, however, most people with mental illness experience physical symptoms like this. Not to mention the exhaustion from masking and managing our emotions. When you have social anxiety and are out in public, you can become hyper-aware of how you look, shift, and so on. Trying to control any answer to appear ‘normal’ is exhausting. Remember, how much energy it takes for us all to be there for you and how much energy we don’t have for all of the extra “alternatives” that are meant to make our disease better.
6. It is entirely up to us to decide what medications we can take
A few people in our lives have indicated that medicine is a contributing factor, and we are tired of defending this personal health decision. We don’t suggest to diabetics that they consider going without insulin and instead focus on getting more sunshine and practising yoga. We don’t tell someone who has broken their leg to stop taking pain relievers and focus on the positive. Fact, weight, hormones, anxiety, moods, and energy levels are all affected by these overpriced drugs. We would stop taking them if we could still live a regular life.
7. It is not your fault if we have to cancel plans. It isn’t always ours, though
It requires a lot of mental energy to socialize, and people with mental illnesses have none of it to share. Many would like to attend social gatherings but are unable to do so when the opportunity arises. Many nervous friends, even family members, want to attend an event but always cancel at the last minute. Even when we are the ones getting cancelled on, we try to remember that different situations activate different people, and it’s not a reflection on us or that they don’t bother.
8. Please don’t look for a ‘solution’ for us
The following is a partial list of the treatments we’ve received for depression and anxiety: Increase your physical activity, go outside, and see a therapist. Yoga, meditation, and other forms of self-care are recommended. Vitamin D supplements should be taken. We are stopping taking the drugs. It makes no difference whether or not I’ve tried any of this stuff. We’ve heard them a hundred times, not just from oneself but also from those in the circle. These “solutions” require time and money, as well as the energy that we do not have. As a result, hearing it from a friend can be painful.
9. Even if you don’t understand, be helpful
You can benefit by paying attention to and trusting your friends who claim to be suffering from mental illness. The majority of the time, what we need is to listen to us. We realize that grasping or fully comprehending the situation we’re in can be difficult, but that’s fine. The wisest choice is to inquire about what you can do to help the person if they are nervous, depressed, or manic.
Although it is still a good idea to listen, different people have different needs about their illness. Ask if there’s something you’ll have to know or do to help care for them when they’re struggling, particularly if it’s the closest buddy or significant other.
10. Your “tough love” just serves to drive us further
Mentally disabled people are tenacious. We fight every day to keep ourselves together while our bodies bring us through their paces. These are undoubtedly feelings that most of us have already had. Most of us believe we are only sick until we realize we have a serious illness. We used to believe that we couldn’t cope with everyday situations so, we needed to toughen up. And we all know that thinking isn’t going to help. Tough love implies that you are uninterested in others problems. It says, “we don’t get it and wouldn’t want to try.” It is the polar opposite of helpful.