I think it’s awesome that we all have different personalities, thoughts, and characteristics. The downside of this is that this makes it a bit difficult in knowing if someone is suffering from a mental disorder. Here are a few things I think are important when you know this person personally.
Don’t refer to them as crazy
Yes I know, we sometimes fool around with our friends and family and call them crazy. But let’s face it, some of us battling a mental illness may take it wrong, but will not admit to it to avoid making things awkward.
Don’t worry, it’ll get better
Uh no, not really. LOL Hearing this is appreciated, but it’s not as simple as it seems. If I received a penny for every time someone told me this, I’d have a pretty full piggy bank. A simple “I’m here if you ever want to talk” is better and somehow seems to have more authenticity behind it.
Don’t over apologize
It’s not your fault this person is dealing with this mental disorder. It might already be difficult enough for this person to accept their state of mental health as a part of their life, so apologizing every time you see them or converse is kind of a reminder that they are sort of viewed differently or pitied.
It’s ok to ask questions
It’s ok to ask questions regarding the illness. Just don’t probe. If you sense the person is getting uncomfortable or emotional, perhaps it’s time to change the topic and thank them for opening up to you. I feel people need to be educated and understand that no matter the illness, we are all the same. We all have emotions and all just want to be understood.
Did you go off to war?
People who suffer from PTSD and other disorders didn’t all go to war. The stigma behind this is beyond ridiculous. There are many traumatic events that can cause PTSD and other panic/anxiety related illnesses. DON’T ASSUME.
In conclusion, I just want to remind you that normalcy does not exist. We are not perfect beings, and we are all suffering from something. Let’s be kind.