Put On Your Depression Boxing Gloves

How to respond to ignorant comments about mental health

Ashley Peterson
Jun 21 · 3 min read
Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

If you have a chronic illness, be it mental or physical in nature, chances are you’ve been bopped over the head with some dumbass comments. If you’ve come prepared by toting a rubber chicken along wherever you go, you’ll be well prepared for pretty much anything that comes at you.

For the rest of us, though, we’ll have to rely primarily on words to do rubber chicken duty. Of course, good words aren’t always ready to spontaneously spring up from the depths of your mind, which means you need to plan ahead.

Obnoxious comment: “Chin up!”

Response: “How about you lift yours a bit so I can let fly with an uppercut? That would feel enormously therapeutic right about now.”

Obnoxious comment: “Try not to think about it.”

Response: “Try not to think about a pink elephant…. Okay, have you thought about a pink elephant yet? Yeah, thought so.”

Obnoxious comment: “You don’t look sick.”

Response: “And you don’t look stupid, but hey, what can you do?”

Obnoxious comment: “What do you have to be depressed about? You have it so good.” Another variation to this kind of starving children in Africa line: “There are people who are much worse off than you are.”

Response: “Wasn’t that you saying how depressed you were last week because of who got kicked off The Bachelorette? Where were those starving children then?”

Obnoxious comment: “It’s not that bad.”

Response: “Wow, you must be right. Damn I’m lucky I’ve got you around.”

Obnoxious comment: “You should exercise more.”

Response: “Do you notice me exercising my eyebrow right now as I give you the stink eye?”

Obnoxious comment: “Take CBD oil, it fixes everything.”

Response: “That’s right, because plants are good for everything, aren’t they! Have you ever tried oleander? How do you think that might work out for ya?”

Obnoxious comment: “Try to think positive.”

Response: “Well hot damn, I never would have thought of that. Am I ever lucky to have you around!”

Obnoxious comment: “You just need to choose to be happy.”

Response: “Think back to the soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld. If you try to order happy soup on a day that happy soup isn’t on the menu, not only are you not going to get the happy soup, you’re probably going to be banned from the soup store altogether for at least a few weeks. No happy for you — next!”

Obnoxious comment: “I get it. I was so depressed when Joe broke up with me, but then I met Dan a week later and everything was great!”

Response: “So what I’m hearing you say here is that penis therapy is a miracle cure? Unfortunately, I haven’t done any ladyscaping for a long while so I’m not sure anyone would be able to find the target zone.”

Obnoxious comment: “I’m depressed too. My sister’s next-door neighbour’s dog is really sick.”

Response: “Okay, wow, you definitely win. If the cat gets sick too, they might have to reserve the whole psychiatric ward just for you.”

Obnoxious comment: “You should go on a keto diet.”

Response: “Life without sugar? Now that would really be something worth getting depressed about.”

Obnoxious comment: “You’ll get over it.”

Response: “Hmm, and this is coming from someone who’s taking years to get over their ex? Just sayin’…”

Obnoxious comment: “It’s normal to feel that way.”

Response: “And you would be acquainted with normal how, exactly?”

It’s easy to get annoyed by some of the ignorant things people say to those of us living with depression, but it’s a little bit easier if you can find some humour in it. So put on your depression boxing gloves and let fly!

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Ashley Peterson

Written by

Mental health nurse, blogger, person living with depression, and stigma warrior. Author of Psych Meds Made Simple and creator of https://mentalhealthathome.org

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk