- Don’t ask them “So, what did you do all day?” It sounds patronizing and makes them look lazy and like this is their fault. They don’t need that, and it might exacerbate whatever guilt they already feel for having a mental illness.
What if they aren’t neurologically damaged, and years of sedentism has led to them developing depression? Isn’t the tone and the intent more important than protecting that person’s ego? This is hyper defensive, why not instead of placing demands on others for thepir behavior, the patient, who takes power for themselves, explains to their friend or family, seeking compassion, the reasons that they’ve become lethargic or unmotivated? There are few to no people with mental illness whose disease has been confirmed to be a biological innate because undergoing such a procedure is highly expensive. Drug companies are interested in selling us on the notion of depression, it’s one of the most diagnosed mental illnesses on the book, and the main one which would bring up this question.
- Don’t tell them however they choose to cope [sitting in their room, writing, reading, sleeping, etc] is wrong.
But what if it is wrong? A person with social anxiety, shutting themselves up in their house, being isolated becomes less realistic about socialization. A person with mild depression who sleeps through school or work has additional guilt contributing to their depression. Coping methods are born of pathology and are pathological, what’s needed are methods to dissolve the dysfunction.
- Give them space; they don’t always want to be around people during difficult times.
No disagreement here, but if someone is depressed and isolating, they might not be aware of what could bring them out of that space, they might have irrational beliefs about whether or not someone desires to be around them, and so after a certain amount of time giving those people space serves their disease more than allowing them the space that’s necessary to grow and look at themselves. People who are depressed don’t tend to use their alone time to fix themselves, they’re tired and unmotivated. We need each other, at some point it is reasonable to insist that a person have company.
Offer to do anything you can to take the stress off them [help clean, take them grocery shopping, drive them to doctor’s appointments, etc]
What if in addition to being depressed, the person is codependent? If we reward a person too much for being sick, there’s a tendency for their illness to perpetuate itself in order to receive the reward. And why are we privileging the mentally ill by givging them so much. What if they don’t reciprocate because they remain ill, and become more guilty? I agree with this on principle, but in my life I’ve seen depressives and neurotics use their diagnoses as a way to get support or to get out of things. I’ve seen this at psych wards and at rehabs.
“Understand that how they feel has nothing to do with you.”
That’s interesting, but it’s not necessarily true. In the case of social anxiety, people are often afraid of others for no reason, and with depression, others might not be able to bring them up, but this seems more like a failure in method to me, and denying that socialization can greatly aid those with mental illness is solipsism. A socially anxious person, for instance, can be asked to drop their shoulders and relax their body, can be asked to look at the person speaking, and yes, this will be painful, and I would guess the author of this text would find it intrusive, but it is one of the only ways to train a person back into healthy communication. A depressive person might be happy after 2 weeks taking a long walk or jog every day, but without a friend coaching them and encouraging them would fail to help themselves.
- Don’t ask them “Don’t you take pills for that?” They might be working out the right treatment plan of medications that will help them on the path to getting better. I’m on 4 medications right now to treat my mental illnesses.
Why not? If someone is on a regimen of complex, new, and not well understood psychiatric drugs, and they’re not getting help, then maybe it’s time to try something else. Many non-medicinal methods, from exercise to meditation to CBT help deal with the chemical imbalances. People can unwittingly go and see a psychiatrist who is throwing pills at them, and be in a situation where they need to see someone else, and be convinced they’ll finally find the right pill. But what if it’s their pathological behavior, and to the other person, it’s clear that it’s their pathological behavior snowballing into what appears to be neurological abnormality.
- Understand that there is no one pill that will automatically make them better. I personally have had many medication changes due to them simply not helping and not working out.
Medication is meant to assist in making changes in behavior that tend to have a greater effect than the medication. The idea that medication alone could cure someone is ludicrous. If I can see that a person is taking medication, but not making an effort to change, perhaps because they don’t know that’s what they need to do, then why is my interference unwarranted, when it comes from a place of compassion.
- Try to act calm if this person is having a panic attack or an episode of another mental illness. Being agitated will not help the person going through a hard time.
- Don’t try to force someone with an eating disorder to eat or someone with a binge eating problem to stop eating. Eating disorder recovery takes time, patience, and healing.
No problems here.
- Don’t try to act like a doctor because you are not.
No, but I am a human, and I’ve read from the same texts as psychiatrists, as well as having gone through addiction, depression, and social anxiety, which means I can empathize and also reveal to another the sources of my problems, find their overlaps with that person, and encourage them to take any solution I’ve found. There are many problems with psychiatry that it’s in the best interest of doctors to deny, this is clear from studies on the placebo effect and SSRIs. With the advent of the internet, hell, the library, a person can be just as knowledgeable as a psychiatrist but without the problem of being bound to dispense drugs one has received kickback to pass out, or of losing credibility by revealing errors. Also, the language of psychiatry is rarely the one that I’ve seen heal, it is the relateable language of love, hate, fear, etc. that all of us share. There are reasons to be suspicious of doctors, and there are reasons to be suspicious of people with mental illnesses, the latter because we’re not always aware of what we’re doing or why, it has become ingrained in us, and others can see things in ourselves that it is beneficial for our pathologies to avoid.
- Do encourage the person to contact their psychiatrist and/or therapist if they are in crisis or having problems.
- Don’t tell a depressed person to “come on, smile.”, a person with anxiety to “stop panicking”, a person with bipolar to control their mood swings, etc. It doesn’t help.
Actually, telling a depressed person to smile is a fine thing to do, and if they react with bitterness to someone who is trying to encourage them, then perhaps they have an attitude problem. It’s been proven that artificially smiling helps us feel better. To tell someone to stop panicking is foolish due to what’s called paradoxical effects, and yes, it is insensitive, normally coming from a place of fear in the calm person that the panicked person is a burden to them. And about people with bipolar: at the mental hospital, I remember meeting an older woman whose husband was bipolar, and who found that he could use his diagnosis to get away with whatever he wants. Perhaps a person with what appears to be bipolar disorder, which is proven to exist as cyclical ups and downs, is really unable to handle their emotions and is erratic. Don’t you want that person to be able to control their moods to their liking? Is there not a behavioral solution to these diseases? Protecting people doesn’t help them, we’re complicated, and making a person with a mental illness immune to scrutiny is a good way to allow them to develop and sustain damaging behaviors.
- Do be supportive and encouraging.
- Sometimes, no words need to be said. Hold the person’s hand while watching TV together. Hug the person. You have no idea how much they need it.
Fine by me. I know this comes across in some ways as antagonistic, but if you’ve seen what I’ve seen, you’d understand. There are people who manifest disorders that could be said to have a neurological origin that have their bases in behavior and routines. There are methods that aren’t medicine that might be able to bring a person up. There’s information available to everyone about the science, the research, and the various problems associated with how diagnostics and defining as mentally ill work. For instance, it was shown that anorexics in Hong Kong I believe all had the illness because of a fear that’s part of their culture, that their stomach would bloat and explode. After media and psychiatric institutional information about body image, etc. appeared there, many began to take on that pathology. Because of this effect, where people conform their diseases to what authority tells them, we should be careful of pity parties, of commiserating in ways that affirm our powerlessness, otherwise we risk being overcome by hopelessness and fear. I feel that these points come from a person who’s hurt and seeking help, and I can understand where they come from, but we need to be careful about trying to privilege the mentally ill in a way that might perpetuate their illness. We’re not just individuals, and we’re not all that different, and we have a responsibility to each other. Let’s be certain we’re not letting someone else’s demons prevent what we know can be of aid.
i decideed to go to bed because my parents are watching game of thromes
i’m nostalgic for being interested in nothing in particular
I accidentally bought a $50 pair boots online when I was cranky and drunk last night
i need a petite girl to punch me in the face hard