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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.
CONTENT WARNING: This post mentions self-harm and suicide.
There is so much stigma surrounding mental health and mental illnesses. Every single day I hear or see a new thing mentioning it. It’s like I can never escape.
I’m the type of person who can’t unsee things. I can’t un-know something I once I learn it. Once I became a mental health advocate, I could never stop being a mental health advocate.
Here are my top 8 incredibly annoying mental health pet peeves:
My Top 8 Incredibly Annoying Mental Health Pet Peeves
1. MENTAL ILLNESSES IN HORROR
I love a good horror movie, but I am instantly turned off by horror movies using mental illnesses as a way to gain horror. The mental illness is used as the punchline and twist in the movie. The villain almost always has some type of misunderstood mental illness, like dissociative identity disorder or schizophrenia.
Several movies even end with the main character in a mental hospital. These mental hospitals are so unrealistic to what they actually look like. No matter how good the rest of the movie was, it ends up ruining the whole entire movie for me.
People with mental illnesses are not scary. Studies say that 1 in 4 of us have some type of mental illness, which means you know somebody who has one. So you’re basically saying you’re scared of everyone you meet?
2. “THIS WEATHER IS SO BIPOLAR”
Clearly, you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Weather can’t be so bipolar. Actually, the weather can’t be bipolar at all.
Bipolar disorder isn’t a quick shift in mood. It’s also not a quick change from happy to sad or loving to angry. It’s much more serious and debilitating than that.
Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are several different types of bipolar disorder.
And guess what? People can’t be bipolar either. They have bipolar disorder. No one can be a disorder.
3. “IT MAKES ME SO DEPRESSED”
Okay. Depression isn’t just sadness. You don’t get depressed because you have to wake up early the next morning. You don’t get depressed when you have to go to school or be at work all day.
Depression an all-encompassing leech that sucks every bit of life out of you for days, weeks, months, years.
If people continue to have the mentality that depression is just casual sadness, depression will continue to not be taken seriously.
Even if you recover from depression, that horrible leech will always be in the back of your mind. It’ll be hard to ever forget how it made you feel. You won’t even remember what you were sad about a week ago.
4. “EVERYONE’S A LITTLE OCD”
Wait. What? There’s so much wrong with a statement like, “Everyone’s a little OCD.”
OCD is one of the most stigmatized disorders, and it’s not always about cleaning or orderliness. It’s not always about being particular about something.
In reality, OCD is said to be one of the most disabling mental illnesses out there. There’s nothing “little” about OCD.
My OCD has nothing to do with cleaning or being organized. You probably wouldn’t even by able to tell I have OCD, because I have Pure O with a category of Relationship OCD. And I am one messy person.
5. “CALM DOWN”
Never in the history of calming down has anybody calmed down when they were told to calm down.
Telling someone to calm down not only adds more anxiety, but it completely invalidates how they’re feeling. It’s incredibly frustrating for everybody involved.
And let’s not forget about calm down’s cousin, Just Breathe. If I could just breathe, if I could calm down, I wouldn’t be having a panic attack now would I? Nooooo.
So how about trying “How can I help you?” or “Do you need me to do anything?” instead. And don’t surprised if someone doesn’t respond to your questions. They can’t just calm down and just breathe and talk to you.
6. THE WORD “PSYCHO”
Since when did using the word psycho become such a thing? My psycho ex. My psycho neighbor. They’re such a psycho.
People use the word psycho so freely. Using the word so casually adds so much stigma to someone who struggles with psychosis or other mental illnesses.
We often forget to think about and care about what other people are struggling with. I truly believe there is always more than meets the eye. Everyone is battling a battle you know nothing about.
7. PEOPLE POSTING PICTURES OF SELF-HARM
No. No. Just no. Do not do this.
This is incredibly triggering and damaging and might provoke someone to hurt themselves. Plus, it feeds the idea that people who self-harm are attention seeking. Which is hardly ever the case.
I’ve been dealing with a self-harm addiction on and off for the past 10 years, and there’s nothing glamorous about it. It’s one of the toughest battles I’ve had to fight my entire life. If I knew that it would lead to this, I never would’ve started in the first place.
8. “IT MAKES ME WANT TO KILL MYSELF”
Why, why, whyyyyy would you ever say this?
Suicide is never a joke. Ever, ever, ever.
Too many people are afraid to speak about their thoughts and feelings, and not enough people take suicide seriously. Once someone dies by suicide, that “joke” can never, ever be taken back. Suicide is a permanent fix for a temporary problem.
If you’re suicidal, please seek the help you deserve. Talk to someone, and seek emergency help. It gets better.
- 8 Common Misconceptions and Myths About Self-Harm
- 8 Offensive Phrases People with OCD are Sick of Hearing
- 10 Inspirational Mental Health Blogs You Need to Read Right Now
What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to mental health? Tell us in the comments below!
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2 thoughts on “My Top 8 Incredibly Annoying Mental Health Pet Peeves”
Absolutely wonderful write up. I especially appreciate rhe part about horror movies (and for that matter TV shows such as police drama) using mental illness as if schizophrenia somehow equals violence. It is never what it seems and it’s a message that gets spread too much. The problem is that media makes more of a splash than experts or survivors.
Thank you! There is still so much stigma in our everyday lives.
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