World Mental Health Day




How does one “help” someone
with depression,
or bipolar disorder,
or schitzophrenia,
or PTSD?

I mean, really, really help them?

Quit trying to fix them.

There is no panacea.
There are no magic words to say,
no kiss on the boo-boo,
or pat on the head,
or cup of goddamn coffee
that will make everything better.

Stop saying things like,
“Just cheer up!” or “Put on a happy face!”
or “Maybe you should try a sugar/gluten/meat-free diet!”
or “Well, hello, grumpy-puss, who peed in your coffee?”
or “Why are you always so gloomy/hyper/sleepy/talkative/shy?”
or, “There’s always someone worse off than you,
so get over it.”

Get over it. Right.
It’s like people think a depressed person doesn’t want to feel better,
be “normal,” just “get over it.”
Of course they do.
Or like someone saying those things could really make it better somehow?
It won’t.

All it will do is make them feel like no one
understands and make them more alone than ever.

What CAN a person do then? So much:
Be a good listener, be there for them.
Don’t judge, accept; do your best to understand.
Be respectful of their feelings.
Make sure they know they are important to you.
Invite them places. (They may not come, but at least someone asked.)
Don’t tip-toe around their illness like they are a circus freak.
But don’t be so obnoxiously full of questions, they feel like one anyway.
Let them know you aren’t going anywhere; you aren’t going to abandon them.
Remind them this is not their fault. they didn’t choose this.

Tell them you love them.



9 thoughts on “World Mental Health Day

  1. This is the perfect response. My daughter has suffered with depression and obsessive thoughts her whole life, the past teen years have been the roughest. Your counsel is wise indeed. Thanks.

  2. There are tears of joy in my eyes from reading your poem. One of the best feelings is knowing that I’m not alone. Your poem really crystallized the message that I want to scream to the world! Thank you!

    • You are most welcome. ❤ I'm so glad to help in some small way. I admit I was once clueless, too. I had to be shown how to behave and how to care for those I love. Be patient with us, we do our best. Thank you for your kind words. And point clueless people this way! 🙂

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