Mental health and addiction are often plagued with stigma. Many people don’t understand the struggles of someone in mental health or addiction treatment. However, not all stigma is someone talking down to others. There are other ways to stigmatize someone besides blatant stigma. We also need to be watching how we say what we are saying. There are some overused clichés used when talking to someone that is struggling. Someone might mean well, but they are saying something that can be hurtful to someone struggling. These things could make someone feel even worse. We know that isn’t your intention, so here are some clichés you should be avoiding when talking to someone with a mental illness or addiction.
Be Grateful / Think of All the People Who Have It Worse
We aren’t all a fan of the comment “think of all the people who have it worse.” Just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean that you cannot feel your feelings. We don’t tell someone that someone has it better so they cannot be happy, so why is it said the other way around? If someone is struggling, they probably already know that there are people out there who have it worse. Just because someone is sad doesn’t mean they aren’t grateful for what they have. Let people feel their feelings.
Smile / Be PositiveStuggling
If you’re saying to someone struggling that they should just smile or be positive, you’re minimizing what they are going through. This may not be your intention, but you can come across that way. Realize that what you’re saying could be hurtful and change how you talk to people that are struggling. If someone could just smile and make their problems go away, they would have done so already. They have tried to smile. They have tried to be positive. Be there and support them, don’t minimize what they are going through.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here for you. We understand that you are grateful for what you have. We know that you’ve tried to smile. We see you and we want you to know that we are here for you throughout your struggles. We want to make sure we are watching not only the way we say something but how we say it too. We know our words can help or hurt those around us. Call us today for more information about the programs we offer at (844) 413-2690. We can’t wait to hear from you. Call now. You won’t be disappointed.