Top 5 Things Never to Say to a Person with a Mental Illness

1. Bipolar can be cured. Rub this oil on you. Don’t eat gluten. Pray.

I have yet to have a doctor to tell me it can be cured and yet to read anything legitimate that gives me hope that it can be cured. I’ve accepted I will live with it but how I treat it will affect how I live.  It’s very frustrating to already be navigating a world of information, emotions and experiences with Bipolar II. Trust me. I take two pills from my psychiatrist, four supplements, essential oils, music therapy, art therapy, psychotherapy and stress management yet still have Bipolar II. We can fight it but cure it? So please don’t tell us it can be cured. If you truly believe it can be cured then here is my advice to you – become a scientist, therapist or doctor.

2. Did you miss your meds?

Don’t assume that I missed my meds because I may be bitchy or argumentative. This doesn’t mean I missed my meds. If I’m depressed or out of my mind with anxiety then ask. We are still allowed to express our anger and sadness. Maybe we’re stewing over an argument. Maybe we have something with our kids on our mind. Maybe we are just being a human without mental illness. Maybe something triggered anxiety. Maybe we feel life is too much right now. Don’t just assume we missed something. Here’s my advice about assuming that a wise man told me years ago. Assume makes an ASS out of U and ME.

3. You are use Bipolar as a crutch.

This one really hurts. Why people think we choose to be this way still blows my mind?  If I had my choice I wouldn’t live on this rollercoaster but instead a lazy river and stay.  No one wants to just sit in a closet and cry while searching their mind to understand why. No one wants to feel overwhelmed to the point the only way they know to stop is to self destruct by imploding or exploding.

4. You need to go talk to a therapist.

Yes this can be good advice but easier said than done. Unless YOU see a therapist don’t suggest – it makes us feel even more crazy. Ask if we are talking to someone about our feelings. Don’t tell us what we NEED.  Everyone needs a little (or a lot) of therapy. Here’s the thing though – guess who we really want to talk to at times – those that are supposed to love and support us. Remember that if your loved one is suffering from a mental illness they have some not so nice demons waging a war inside their heads. They may just need to know someone is listening and give them love when we can’t love ourselves. Maybe it’s nice to know someone is listening and not being paid to listen because they just love you so much.

So for all those ready to give advice – unless you truely know bipolar don’t give advice. Open your ears and close your mouth. Be there to listen. Be there to believe. Be there to hope. Be there to help find comfort. Be there to give love. Be there to hug. Be there to show empathy. Be there to be a non-judging spirit in this world. Just be there.

If you or a loved one are feeling thoughts of suicide then please reach out for help.

National Suicide Help Line  –   1-800-273-8255