What Not To Say to People With Invisible Illness (E-Media)
For clarification: invisible illnesses consist of mental illness and any illness that can’t physically be seen. Keep these things in mind the next time you want to say these things. Other people may be nice about this, but I’m not.
“People have worse problems.”
Yes, we all have problems. However, it is not your place to tell someone else that their issues are not valid. It’s not productive or helpful. As a matter of fact, some people already minimize their worth as a person. Telling them people have worse problems will only give them the notion that their thoughts are valid.
“You’re being dramatic”
I had a friend telling people that because I did theatre, I overreact and overdramatize panic and anxiety attacks for attention. If she knew anything, she would know people with anxiety and panic don’t want people to see them have an attack. The only attention I want in that moment is for someone to help me breathe so I don’t pass out.
“You should meditate.”
Meditate on this…no. I’m plenty self-aware of my inner consciousness. I spend enough time alone to know I don’t need to look deeper into myself. Also, sitting in complete silence trying to tune out anxiety doesn’t work. It doesn’t distract me from the pain I feel. I’m all for spirituality, but it’s not a cure.
“Don’t over think it.”
Here’s the thing. I know not to overthink it, but my anxiety and paranoia don’t. They like to remind me of all the possible ways I could hurt myself on a daily basis. They like to remind me that things typically don’t work out for me.
“Be ready in an hour.”
Don’t even think about spontaneous, last minute plans. One can’t just be ready! Do you know how much time it takes me to leave the house? I have to allow time for getting ready (which takes forever because I’m always in pain and I’m vain), finding something I misplaced and calming myself down from social anxiety.
“No one will love you until you love yourself.”
Oh good, thank you for the confirmation and reminder that I’m going to become a dog lady. At least they’ll love me. They’ll stand by me in sickness and in health more than a human will, honestly.
“You can’t lay on the floor all day.”
The floor is heated. The floor is good. The floor is safe. The floor will always be there to catch me when I fall.
“Do you have extra pills I can buy off you”
Damn! You really want me to be unstable AND in jail, huh?
“It’s all in your head-you’re psyching yourself out.”
Wait, WHAT?! My PSYCHOLOGICAL problems are in my HEAD?! This is brand new information thank you for educating me.