It’s all in your head: Mental illness patients on the worst advice they got
British journalist Hattie Gladwell started a Twitter thread asking her followers to reveal the most unhelpful or insulting things ever said to them about their mental illness.Updated: May 10, 2018 08:45 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People experiencing mental illness are subjected to social stigma, ridiculed for “just in your head” issues and told their problem is “all an excuse”.
UK journalist Hattie Gladwell started a Twitter thread with the hashtag #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness and asked her followers to reveal the most unhelpful, insensitive or insulting things ever said to them about their mental illness.
Quote this tweet with the most unhelpful/insensitive thing someone has said to you about your mental illness.— hattie gladwell (@hatttiegladwell) May 6, 2018
I’ll start: One person told me I didn’t need medication, I just needed to be more motivated to cope with my mental health. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
“One person told me I didn’t need medication, I just needed to be more motivated to cope with my mental health,” Gladwell posted @hattiegladwell as she shared her experience.
Gladwell’s tweet got an overwhelming response with grievances pouring in from across the world. Fed up of being dismissed and not heard, people began sharing the worst things said to them about their mental health.
It was soon widely shared, garnering over 600 responses. It was liked by 2,600 people and shared nearly 470 times.
Sample some responses:
#Thingspeoplehavesaidaboutmymentalillness "What do you mean you are disabled by anxiety? We all have anxiety!" Anxiety (disorder) from PTSD isn't what everyone has. Crippling panic attacks and unknown triggers are my daily life. Don't judge something because you don't understand.— 🦈NrrrdGrrrl🏒🥅 (@_NrrrdGrrrl_) May 7, 2018
#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness Just try to think positive for once, it's all in your head— Sophie D. (@Sophie9131) May 6, 2018
It's all just an excuse, you were feeling alright the other day! #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Adam Howard (@AdamHoward2000) May 6, 2018
It's because you are still young and not enough busy. When you'll have a job and a family, all these thoughts will disappear. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Elle (@JaneElle800) May 6, 2018
I told someone I had OCD and their reply was "oh so you like to clean then". I said, "no, I struggle with intrusive thoughts and worry about bad things happening". Their reply then was, "oh, so you're just superstitious?" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness https://t.co/deyKPMRiE1— Lydia 🌹❄️ (@AlongCameLydia) May 6, 2018
"you’re doing this for attention"— veronica sawyer (@acidtrippedme) May 7, 2018
"depression isn’t real"
"you just need a different mind set"
"you’re faking it"
"you want to kill yourself? *grabs knives from drawer, sets them all in front of me* cut yourself & we’ll bury you outside."#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
"That is an irrational fear, so stop being afraid of it, you’re wasting my time and all your peers time"— Lanney (@LilannePnw) May 7, 2018
Teacher then left the class until I "got over it" while all my peers yelled at me to grow up, but wouldn’t let me leave.. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
"I don’t have time for your bullshit" said my mum after I told her i hadn’t slept in 3 days and had a break down in front of her. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Zaira Ali (@ZairaAli36) May 7, 2018
In India, mental health came into media focus when Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone opened up about depression in an interview in 2015. She spearheads The Live Laugh Love Foundation that aims to reduce the stigma, spread awareness and change the way people look at mental health issues.
Following Padukone’s confession, several prominent personalities such as Varun Dhawan, Ileana D’Cruz, Shama Sikander and Manisha Koirala too came out with stories of battling with depression, bipolar disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety.
The National Mental Health Survey of India-2016 describes mental disorders as a diverse group of conditions varying in their presentation ranging from acute to recurrent to chronic, mild to severe, multiple disorders to single illness, morbid or co-morbid conditions and in several other ways.
The findings of the survey revealed that one in 20 people in India suffer from depression, a high prevalence of psychoactive substance use and that high suicidal risk is an increasing concern.
India is home to several organisations that provide assistance to people suffering from mental illnesses. Some of them are AASRA (Mumbai), The Banyan (Chennai), Sanjivini Society For Mental Health (Delhi) among others.
First Published: May 10, 2018 08:40 IST