When Others Don’t Understand Your Mental Health Condition

By Meg Duke, Behavioral Health Consultant, Legacy Fifth Ward

When you are dealing with depression or any mental health condition, it can be difficult to talk about it.  Offhand comments—whether born of ignorance or arrogance—can cut to the bone.  That is why it is important to have a group of family and friends to support you during this time.

Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.  Unsupportive friends and family can prove trying. Here are some tips for dealing with their negativity.

Help them learn about your condition.

Tell those closest to you that the best way to help you is for them to try to understand your condition.  Encourage them to talk to a family therapist or join you at a support group meeting.  Also, suggest some helpful books for them to read. While they may never understand what you are going through, it could be helpful in showing them how to support you.

Focus on getting better.

Don’t waste your time and energy arguing with friends or family that give you a hard time.  This is your life and you’re the one struggling. Make it a point not to engage with them if it’s upsetting you or triggering symptoms.

Listen to the professionals.

Take advantage of the help that is available to you. When you have a question about mental health, consult with your doctor, therapist or a mental health professional trained in managing your condition.

Cut negative people out of your life.

It may sound extreme but if your loved ones are hindering your recovery progress, you may just need to distance yourself from them.  If you can’t go that far find ways to limit your contact with them and their insensitive remarks. During times like these, you need to surround yourself with positive and supportive people.

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