How To Help Someone with Anxiety and Depression, by Emma Watts

This story may be triggering for its mentions and descriptions of bullying and mental illness.

Sometimes small, everyday tasks can be far too much for someone struggling with mental illness so even offering to help with those can be a huge help. One of my friends cleaned my filthy apartment while I was in the hospital and I could have cried when I came back to a clean home without a mountain of dishes in the sink.

Sometimes I’ve gone to a loved one for support and they just didn’t know how to react to the things I was telling them so I’ve been met with shrugs or blank stares or “I don’t know what you want from me but I can’t live like this anymore.” It’s like- “Great, because neither can I.” In several arguments with my younger sister, she told me to go cut or to just kill myself already. More recently I’ve had people make fun of me for having to take medications. Someone told me without knowing my history that people with bipolar disorder are always terrible people, and after mentioning something online about being on an antidepressant, someone told me that it was nice that I was treating my “suicidal tendencies” with a drug that causes suicidal tendencies. It can be pretty disheartening.

If you’re dealing with someone with a mental illness, know that we aren’t doing these things for attention. We’re sick and we need help, just like someone with a physical illness would. Please be patient with us; let us know that you’re there if we need you. Don’t force the issue and for God’s sake, don’t tell us to “cheer up,” “man up,” “get over it” or any variation of that phrase.

This post is cross-posted on aboutmentalillness.tumblr.com

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