“You’re just stressed.”
Oh how I hate those words. This statement is used so often with people who struggle with depression, anxiety and in my case Bipolar Disorder. It breaks my heart when I see or hear of people saying this to people who struggle with mental illness.
Here’s what I would like to say to them.
Depression, anxiety and any other mental illness really can be triggered by stress. Just like having a cold, getting the flu or picking up another illness. Stress can cause a weakened immune system. Stress can trigger a mental illness just the same.
But when you get a cold (triggered by stress or not), you still acknowledge the cold. You still treat the cold. Get extra rest, drink lots of fluids and maybe take some medication to make it more bearable.
So why is it so hard to do the same with our illnesses?
We need you to acknowledge our depression; our anxiety. We need you to remind us that this is NOT our fault. We don’t have control of our depression or anxiety. We need someone to come along side us and help us treat our mental illness just as if it was any other.
How can you do that? Ask.
Be there for us. Hug us. Make us a cup of tea or draw a warm bath.
There might be times where we won’t have the answer and we don’t actually know what we need from you.
Sometimes, we just need someone to say they’re there for us. But a lot of times, we just need you to acknowledge our illness. You might not be able to physically see it. But believe me when I say… it is VERY real for us.
Do you know someone who is currently struggling from a mental illness? Let them know that you’re there for them. And please… please… … PLEASE erase the phrase “You’re Just Stressed” from your vocabulary.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, business owner, daughter and friend. She has a Marketing Diploma and a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.