How to handle unhelpful people

On your journey, you’ll experience doctors, family, friends, strangers, colleagues and sometimes pets (kidding) who say really unhelpful things and don’t get what mental distress feels like.

Others will be amazing.

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The unhelpful ones are those who give the worst advice, or judge you when you’re feeling worse than shitty.

Firstly, it hurts. Words hurt. You’re vulnerable and ashamed and afraid. You need love, compassion, support and sometimes medication or a bed to sleep in at a loving friend.

The technique I’ve developed is simple. Firstly, I swear quietly at them in my head. Or about the situation. Then I smile and try and say nothing to conserve my energy and avoid a debate.

Remember two things. No one is allowed to tell you right now that everything happens for a reason. They’re also only allowed to give advice with permission, or a background of their own experience. And a hug. Maybe lots of hugs.

And… memes to lighten up a heavy topic.

When the doctor tells you he won’t give you medication, and recommends meditation:

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When someone judges the fact you are taking psychiatric medication for your mental wellness:

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People who imply you can cure this with enough effort:

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One thing I’ve learnt is to feel angry, but not hold on to it, because bitterness and resentment screw up your healing process. I have learnt to hold compassion for ignorance, forgiveness for those who try hard but do it all wrong and sometimes just faking it to make it. Except when people have told me it is all in the mind, and sometimes suggested I take serious detoxes or loads of pot and other drugs to sort myself out.

Thankfully, times are changing and we are blessed to live in an era (espeically the UK) where mental health and so many shame-associated topics are now getting money and media coverage. I count my blessings with this, and look forward to the day when my kids (who will hopefully not have the same issues as me!) discuss problems in the same way they would discuss sport.

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