To Anyone Who’s Not Doing So Well
Tim Denning
15710

This is well meaning but I cannot in a million years believe it would help most people who are caught in “anxiety, fear, and depression.” The mention of suicidal thoughts confirms this.

To translate point “A”, and the rest of the advice flows from this, into what it would sound like if the injury was physical: So you’ve got a broken leg? Shattered, really, and you can’t walk? Well, go on and get up and walk over to that person who loves you enough to help you if you ask, but not enough to see you’re hurting and come to help.

And “when I feel bad, I go help homeless people.” Really? One of the hallmarks of depression — esp. at the suicidal level — is not being able to function. They can’t get out of bed, and you cheerfully say that if they help someone else, they’ll feel better?

This minimizes real mental health problems. That minimization only fuels things like depression. How many folks, do you think, might read this? Folks who are suffering? What you’ve told them is that all it takes to get better is to follow these instructions. If they can’t? That’s not a possibility. So, someone reading this, seeing themselves, and then realizing they can’t even make the first step (the not disappearing) would likely feel worse. This might help them *know* they are worthless and incapable. Where does that lead?

Your ideas sound great! They are the ideas that have been floated for depression, etc. for a long time. They’re toxic as hell. “Self-help you’re way out of severe mental illness” is like saying “self-help your way out of cancer.”