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People's Inappropriate Responses


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I clearly don't get out often enough, nor disclose depression to anyone unless I have to because of the stigma attached, not to mention being anxious of almost everything, but there are the occassional ones.

"What's wrong?" and "I can't help if you won't tell me what's wrong." are two very common ones, well yeah, I don't know what's wrong. I suppose to some people, they want to help but they don't know how to, due to a lack of understanding.

"Why don't you go outside and do something/meet people?" here's one I get, I don't like going outside on my own for very far distances and I certainly don't like being around people very often, struggle around people I know, let alone people I don't...

"It could be worse." it could, but it's still pretty bad.

There are possibly others but my lack of interaction means I don't hear many of them.

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I told my best friend at the time that I self-harmed. He told me I was crazy and asked what the hell was wrong with me. It hurt very much, because of how vulnerable I was in that moment. I didn't expet such an angry reaction...
But that's the way some people respond to things when they are afraid or concerned. He often got angry, but then later apologised, takeing back hurtful things and trying to be understanding. But it things all the harder to talk about. He was the first person I tried to open up to, but his responses often made me feel shameful.

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I'm religious and asked the priest at my church to pray for me because my depression was bad. I said I was getting worse and I was just about coping. His response was "you're a good girl". This is someone I don't know well. I am certainly nit a girl and I just can't imagine him responding in the same way if I'd said "my cancer had come back" or "my asthma has been very bad."

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"Just go on vacation with me, it will make you feel better." (Very well intentioned, at least once per week).

No. No number of palm trees, restaurants, bars, or meetings with new friends are going to make me feel better right now. Right now I cannot experience joy. I will have the experience of flying, enjoying nothing, putting on a facade so you don't feel guilty/that you've failed, and then feeling guilty myself because I didn't enjoy "enjoyable" things. Oh, not the forget the constant anxiety and feeling like I am on a verge of a heart attack, but it is really only my brain playing games. That makes trips with me a ton of fun.

Grumble grumble.

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Sigh, it's painful to read some of these. Seriously people need to EDUCATE themselves a little bit more and not be so damn ignorant. Our society needs to crawl,out of the dark ages of mental health stigma.

And I really do believe that such bonehead responses are a SERIOUS if not the most serious barrier to people getting treatment for depression and other mental health. The stigma runs so deep it evens affects our health care professionals specialized to treat mental health concerns specifically. WTH. So not cool!

It's a really bitter pill to swallow, when we finally work up the courage to tell a friend, family member, partner, doctor or counsellor about what's really going on with us, and their response is so completely unsupportive and inappropriate.

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Well I've gotten called both crazy and bipolar quite a lot throughout my life. Neither of which I am! I find it offensive the way people throw around the term "bipolar" it's like nobody knows the true meaning of the word except professionals and us with mental health issues.

boyfriends have told me "yeah your crazy, but it's ok I still love you" I really don't appreciate being called crazy in any sort of way.

At a bookstore my current boyfriend pointed me to a self help book titled something like "happiness is a choice"
He doesn't really understand the severity of my depression because I'm good at putting on a happy face. He basically tells me that he thinks I'm one of those people that can choose to be happy but I'm just negative. Which hurts a lot.

"Just think positive"
"Everyone gets depressed sometimes"
"Have you tried yoga?"
"Do you get enough vitamin D?"
"You should try running!"

also in my younger years I heard these ones a lot:
"you'll grow out of it"
"you're not depressed you're just a teenager"
"teenagers are moody"

Edited by 60s sad girl
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"What's wrong?"

I try not to be irked by this one because the people saying it to me (usually my mum or SO) so badly want to help me (and do, they really go above and beyond) but I just can't seem to make them understand that the reason(s) I'm crying (usually what brings on the question) is/are both nothing and about fifty million things from work to something on the news to a dead pigeon I saw to spilling my tea.

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"You're too young to experience what ____ really feels like"

I've gotten the lazy one & it's all in your head too. I'll never understand some people. This is why those effected stay silent, it's responses like all over this topic that shut people in.

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I see the word "just" in a lot of these posts.

Seems like a dead giveaway that someone thinks we're dreaming this up or too stupid to see a simple solution or have blown something all up out of proportion? Well, JUST do this/that.

Kind of like the car insurance commercials that I abhor... "EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT". Well, apparently not, you judgmental smart***.

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"People in Africa have it way worse then you do" Well yes I know but that doesn't mean I can't be in pain too.

"Antidepressants are toxic, just have a drink or smoke some w**d! "Are you kiddin me?

"Just pray to God and he will cure you" From my deeply religious friend.

"It seems like you actually like being depressed" Oh sure, I love feeling miserable everyday.. Of course I don't!

And last but not least; "Just get over it" Well if it was that easy I would have done it yesterday already.

"Snap out of it", "Get a grip", "Help yourself", "If you follow through with it make sure you do a good job", "it's not easy living with you". Just a handful that come to me off the top.

I get snap out of it a lot....or "You need to overcome your issues that make you feel depressed/anxious/etc" ...

The sad part is when family does not understand, or even try to understand :(

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"You're too young to experience what ____ really feels like"

I've gotten the lazy one & it's all in your head too. I'll never understand some people. This is why those effected stay silent, it's responses like all over this topic that shut people in.

I swear people don't think sometimes - OF COURSE it's in our head (not in the "imagining things" way), just like an ulcer is all in someone's stomach or a heart condition is all in someone's chest.

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My favorite, "God wouldn't give you more than you can handle"-huh? What about all those that committed suicide? Seems to me that God gave them a little more than they could handle!. Why not just, "I'm sorry you're hurting" I believe that most of us suffering from depression are because our brain chemistries are screwed up. We are desperate and some just barely eek out an existence. These glib, unintelligent suggestions are insulting.

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Yesterday my dad said: "Oh for Christ's sake, you're acting like YOUR life is hard? Some people don't even have a job!"

He's right, but that's not how depression works!

I know! And that type of logic is just flawed and bad. External things could almost always be "worse" so then no one is entitled to feel bad. Some people don't even have a job, but some people don't even have a home. Some people have a home, but don't even have a family. Some people are in critical condition, but no so critical that they'll die in the next 2 hours. Is no one allowed to be unhappy then? And you're right, NOT how depression works! Sorry you had to hear that. :hugs:

- Christina

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My favorite, "God wouldn't give you more than you can handle"-huh? What about all those that committed suicide? Seems to me that God gave them a little more than they could handle!. Why not just, "I'm sorry you're hurting" I believe that most of us suffering from depression are because our brain chemistries are screwed up. We are desperate and some just barely eek out an existence. These glib, unintelligent suggestions are insulting.

I didn't even think of that one, but you're definitely right.

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I think these sort of ignorant comments hurt the worse when they come from the people closest to us. Last night a dear friend and former coworker and supervisor texted me. I responded, and he said he thought I sounded much better than the last time we exchanged pleasantries. He ended with the dreaded 'keep your chin up'. I love this man and know he means well, but it still got under my skin. I wanted to reply but felt like I'd end up going off on him, so I stayed silent. I just wish I could find a tactful way to point out to him that trite "feel-good" phrases like that do more harm than good :(

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