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Just Snap Out Of It!

«Just snap out of it», maybe the most famous cliché on mental illness. No matter how famous or old, it can still hurt to be faced with it. Have you ever experienced opening up about your mental health issues, only to be shot down by stigma and ignorance?

The Famous Clichés

Mental illness is real. We know that.

We know that a lot of people suffer from mental illness. We know that mental illness has its causes. We know that mental illness needs to be treated like a real illness. We know that one can get professional help to deal with mental illness.

Even so, a lot of people suffering from mental illness are repeatedly faced with insensitive comments, like: «Just snap out of it!», or «Get over it already!». These comments can be very hurtful to those who suffer from a mental illness.

What are we talking about? Let’s have a look at a short list of famous clichés:

  • Why don’t you just grow up?
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself
  • Happiness is a choice
  • What do you have to be depressed about?
  • There’s a lot of people worse off than you.
  • You’re just looking for attention.
  • Everybody has a bad day every once in a while.
  • Just don’t think about it
People who have experience with mental health issues recognize how hurtful these statements can be. When you are suffering from e.g. depression, you can’t simply «snap out of it» or just be happy. It’s more complicated than that.

Do you know of any more comments like this? How did you learn about that phrase? Did someone say it to you? Please share the story with us. We’d love to know.

Fight Stigma or Fight Depression?

The lesson to learn about these phrases is that dealing with mental health issues and mental illness isn’t as easy as just to «snap out if it». There’s a difference between going through hard times and dealing with mental health issues. If you are depressed, it’s hard to just cheer up. And if you’re experiencing anxiety, it’s hard to stop worrying. That’s the name of the game.

Yet, how far off are these clichés really? When you are anxious, your goal should be to stop worrying. When you are depressed you should want to cheer up. The problem with these clichés is that they don’t really give any advice on how to get there.

When you are anxious, your goal should be to stop worrying. When you are depressed you should want to cheer up. The problem with these clichés is that they don’t really give any advice on how to get there.

The result: People suffering from mental health issues will often find clichés like these hurtful and offensive, because they lack the understanding of the seriousness of mental health issues and mental illness.

But… Do you as a sufferer fight stigma or do you fight your depression? Even if these clichés are based on ignorance, why do you as a sufferer react to them the way you do? Is it really in your best interest to spend your time and energy on correcting others, fighting stigma, or romanticizing your pain?

If there’s one thing to learn from these clichés, it’s that mental illness is real. That’s why you need to deal with your health as if it matters too. In a way it comes down to this question:

How can you expect others to take your condition seriously if you don’t really take it seriously yourself? If it really is a serious thing, the very minimum should be to ask for help. Have you asked for help yet?

How can you expect others to take your condition seriously if you don’t really take it seriously yourself? If it really is a serious thing, the very minimum should be to ask for help. Have you asked for help yet?

The Great Irony

In the end, dealing with mental health comes down to one crucial lesson:

You yourself have to make the decision to make a better life for yourself and start changing for the better. No one can fix you. It doesn’t really matter what happened to you, or what you did. Or maybe nothing really happened. It doesn’t really matter. You deserve to be happy, but in order to feel better you need to take responsibility for your life.

You yourself have to make the decision to make a better life for yourself and start changing for the better. No one can fix you. It doesn’t really matter what happened to you, or what you did. Or maybe nothing really happened. It doesn’t really matter. You deserve to be happy, but in order to feel better you need to take responsibility for your life.

When you are down because of your mental health – be it depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, to mention a few – one way to take responsibility for you life is to ask for help.

All too often, people are suffering because of other people’s wrongdoing. Just think about everyone who’s every been bullied; everyone who’s been the victim of a violent crime or violence; everyone who’s been burnt out because of massive work loads; or everyone affected by the immense pressure to look a certain way.

It might be unfair, but you yourself are responsible. You yourself have to ask for help. Luckily, when you do, there’s a lot of help to be found!

The irony of it all is that your health still remains your responsibility after all. No one can fix you. No one can really heal you. You have to want it yourself. You have to work for it yourself. You have to ask for help, and accept help. It might feel incredibly unfair, but you yourself have to take the first step.

Luckily, when you do, there’s a lot of help to be found. There’s a lot of great opportunities out there. It might be unfair. It might hurt. And it might be hard to do. But you can do it! You are stronger than you think! Make the decision to ask for help, and let people in to help you. There will be time to fight stigma when you’ve taken the time to help yourself first.

I wish you all the best!

 

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We’d like to make a list of the worst things you can say to people who suffer from mental health issues. If you know of any other clichés, please let us know by commenting below!

We’d also like to hear about how you’ve dealt with mental illness. What have you done to make changes to your life? How did you ask for help? How has your love improved? If you want to share your story, please let us know by e-mailing us (follow link and fill in the contact form).

If you’re in need urgent help, please call your local police, ambulance or doctor. You might also have a look at this list of mental health helplines and hotlines.

 

 

 

 

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Cocoonais.com is all about taking care of your mental health. That's why we created an online course on How to Ask for Help. The course is all about tips and experiences regarding taking that first, important step - Asking for Help. To visit the course, click How to Ask for Help in the menu.