On World Mental Health Day, a look back at the meanest things people say
It is imperative to spread awareness about mental illness by talking about it more often and holding discussions. One such discussion was held on Twitter earlier this year during May, which is considered as Mental Health Month.health Updated: Oct 10, 2018 09:04 IST
World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10 and is dedicated towards mental health education, awareness and reducing the social stigma that surrounds this condition. It was in 1992 that it was first celebrated, an initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health. The theme for this year is ‘Young people and mental health in a changing world,’ while in 2017 it was ‘Mental health in the workplace.’
‘How India Perceives Mental Health,’ a report published by The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) in March 2018 to measure the public perception of mental health across eight Indian cities revealed that 87% of respondents associated mental illness with severe disorders (like schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and their symptoms.
The survey also revealed that there was a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, with 47% of people using the term ‘retard’ to describe those with mental illness. More shockingly, 60% of respondents believed that people with mental illness “should have their own groups to avoid contaminating healthy people” and 68% believe that they “should not be given any responsibility.”
In such an environment, it is imperative to spread awareness about mental illness by talking about it more often and holding discussions. One such discussion was held on Twitter earlier this year during May, which is considered as Mental Health Month.
U.K. journalist Hattie Gladwell initiated a Twitter thread with the hashtag detailing ‘Things people have said about my mental illness.’ The thread went viral, and exposed us to the kind of comments those suffering with mental illness had heard.
It showed the sort of insensitive and unhelpful comments that people with mental illness had been subjected to:
I attempted suicide recently and the doctor examined me and just told my mum I was just ‘attention seeking’. #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Nurul Nasir (@DgNurulN) May 11, 2018
My mom coached me before seeing a therapist. She told me not to tell the therapist that my parents beat me (because we don’t, Kyle). My dad was in fact emotionally and physically abusive #thingspeoplehavesaidaboutmymentalillness #SickNotWeak #NeverLetLightFade #MentalHealth— Kyle Loewy (@kloewypride) July 18, 2018
'A friend': "No offence but nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone with mental health problems."— Ida Väisänen (@Idaisdepressed) May 7, 2018
How is that NOT offensive?#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness
Before I was diagnosed schizophrenic and I felt hopeless and could hardly leave my house or tell hallucinations from reality, all my family and friends could say was that I "just needed to get organized". #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— 🍒 hailey 🍒 (@HaileyWait) May 8, 2018
"since you decided you had that problem, you just don't want to go out anymore, it's lame" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Occultae Veritatis Podcast - OVPOD (@OccultaeV) May 10, 2018
After a panic attack a Los Angeles doctor said "Just blow in a bag" #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Erik Peter Carlson (@erikpcarlson) May 9, 2018
On My Depression:— Morgan Paige (@MorganPaigeLove) May 10, 2018
"You don't need medication. You just need to try harder to be happy."
"I feel like that's just an excuse to be mopey all the time."
"Honestly I feel like that's code for 'lazy'. Like, go for a run."
#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— Spencer Carter 🌈#FBPE, #GOCfanfamily FSA Scot (@microburin) May 10, 2018
- Asking GP for help (found another GP): "I think you're in denial, we'll do some blood tests" (which I still don't understand)
- "But you're looking so well" + variant
- "You 'sound' OK though"
- Have you tried <many strange things>?
"You'll never be capable of independent living."— Katharine Celentano (@kcelentano) May 8, 2018
⬆️ Head of facility where I spent 2yrs. To be clear, messed up thing to say to a 20-year-old. And false. I survived being (vastly) underestimated; many don't.#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness ⬅️ Not my preferred term
I was told to man up #ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness— 𝕂𝕒𝕣𝕝 𝕊𝕔𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕥𝕤 (@Karltruthful) May 8, 2018
First Published: Oct 10, 2018 09:03 IST