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Pet Peeves (mental health edition)

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This is going to be a short one, but I kind of enjoy making lists of my pet peeves, and I wanted this one to be about mental health. You might or might not know that I’ve suffered from anxiety most of my life (and GAD for a solid ten years), and while most people are supportive, there’s always that one bumhole (we’ll call her Linda for the purpose of this post) who’s going to make the most insensitive comment.

This is a compilation of the bumhole comments I’ve heard over the years. It’s not meant to be that deep and I hope it puts a smile on your face.

Disclaimer: If you or someone you love is experiencing a panic attack or suffer from anxiety, you can find help online.
US: https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/anxiety-hotline/
UK: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Here is a non-exhaustive of the things people have said to me about anxiety:

  • There’s nothing to worry about! (a cult classic)
  • It’s all in your head! (Thanks, Linda. Have you considered applying for a Nobel Prize in Medicine?)
  • Just take a deep breath and it’ll go away (Why haven’t I thought of that before?!)
  • Why don’t you try to relax?
  • You should probably just get a good night’s sleep.
  • You’re anxious because you don’t have a boyfriend (this comment was made by the first psychiatrist I saw. He compellingly managed to be judgemental AND sexist.)
  • Have you tried meditation? 
  • I get anxious when I have too much work too. (No, Linda. You’re just stressed. You should try meditation, by the way)
  • Oh wow, you have anxiety? It really doesn’t show. (Should I roll on the floor so it looks more like an illness to you, Linda?)
  • Other people have it worse! You are worried because you don’t have real problems to think about. (Not only are you not making me feel better, but you’re also making me feel guilty)
  • Don’t worry, I’m kind of OCD sometimes, too.
  • Want to come over and clean my house?
  • You just need to learn to live with it (Yup, and I need to learn to live with you, Linda. I don’t know which is worse)

 

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Things not to say to someone with anxiety

 

 

47 Comments

  1. September 8, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    This made me chuckle 🙂 it’s the same with my Fibromyalgia! When I have to cancel social plans because I’m not well, people just think I’m unsociable. Bloody Linda 😂 great post x

    Rach | https://rachaelhope.co.uk

  2. August 17, 2018 / 10:42 am

    Oh my bloody god, the amount of times people have told me ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ is just ridiculous- like somehow I didn’t realise that and saying that stupidly obvious comment is just going to fix everything, ugh.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Kate
      Author
      August 17, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      Preach!

  3. August 5, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    “YOU WILL BE FINE JUST BREATHE” is the one of the worst I’ve had. All in caps and seemingly angry in nature. But I’ve had it from family and friends alike, it’s the lack of wanting to understand that saddens me more (even worse when they claim to know how it feels)

    • Kate
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 10:47 pm

      The fact that they tell you to breathe is enough evidence that they don’t have a scooby lol

  4. Beth
    August 5, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    ‘you don’t have anxiety you’re just shy’ is another favourite of mine (said by another Linda… surprise surprise)
    but unfortunately this post is too relatable (oh and that psychiatrist was wrong as I’ve found my anxiety be higher than normal when I have a boyfriend and not because I don’t have one)

    • Kate
      Author
      August 5, 2018 / 9:47 pm

      hahaha yeah that psychiatrist was wrong on many levels
      I’ve never heard the shy one! How shrewd huh!

  5. July 31, 2018 / 1:25 am

    Hahah! This post definitely made me crack up! I can not believe your psychiatrist told you that you are anxious because you don’t have a bf?!!! What? Who gave that that person their degree?
    Also the OCD thing really gets on my nerves ugh!
    https://beaulife.org

    • Kate
      Author
      July 31, 2018 / 10:09 am

      Yeah, he was pretty old. That’s no excuse, though.

  6. July 28, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Oh ​Wow.! took notes on this one Kate! Thanks for the heads up!

    • Kate
      Author
      July 28, 2018 / 8:36 pm

      Thanks!

  7. July 28, 2018 / 3:20 am

    Thanks, Linda. Have you considered applying for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. – yup, Linda, stfu. All in my head, well where else do thoughts come from anyway?
    Take a deep breath – thanks Linda, cured.
    Sleeping does not take the problem away to dreamland and leave it there.
    Omg… it annoys me so much when people do not get the difference between anxious and stressed, and anxious and nervous.
    My cousin was told that she can’t have anxiety because she’s wearing makeup and that’s what she said to me. Are we supposed to be in literal tatters to be taken seriously?
    Other people have it worse – no, that’s not even the least bit helpful because there’ll always be someone who has it worse and what advice and comfort would you be able to give when you actually find someone who has it the worst.
    Please get that Linda out of your life… don’t allow one star people in your life.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 28, 2018 / 10:35 am

      Yup, some Lindas are out of my life, but others are hard to get rid of 😀

      • July 30, 2018 / 1:55 am

        Just ditch em girl, phase them out a la Phoebe Buffay style.

  8. July 27, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    If anyone starts a conversation with depression is a sign you’re … fill in the blanks they need high fiving in the face with a chair for being so presumptuous. Totally relatable post, from someone who gets anxious the worst thing you can be told is it’ll be over soon because then you start thinking when, how is it going to change, is it something I’m doing wrong? OH MY GOD IM DOING EVERYTHING WRONG AND I FAIL! Well that’s what it’s like for me lol

    • Kate
      Author
      July 27, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      Yup, someone telling you there’s nothing to worry about or it’s going to be over soon is a great way of making things worse. I, too, think: “wait, what if it doesn’t get better? Does that make me a failure? Why are they okay and I’m not? Why is everything fine in their universe and not mine?”
      :DDD

      • July 27, 2018 / 7:21 pm

        It must be that their universe is totally made up of beautiful insta
        Pictures which don’t involve them blowing into a paper bag for many minutes in a ball on the floor…#gotthetshirt 😂😂

        • Kate
          Author
          July 28, 2018 / 1:50 am

          #needthetshirt

  9. July 24, 2018 / 9:42 pm

    I once was told that depression was a weakness. Which didn’t go down well.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      I hope you punched them in the teeth!

      • July 27, 2018 / 12:50 pm

        They honestly deserved it I couldn’t believe it when he said it.

  10. July 23, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    This is just so true. I can relate to everything you just mentioned. I loved this post. I also suffer from anxiety and I would love that people just respect other people and try to understand a mental health illness. I find it already difficult to understand my own brain with my thoughts and feelings. I don’t have to hear all those negative and bad things about anxiety. That will only increase my anxiety and make it worse. You are such a strong person. You are worth it 💕 If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you

    • Kate
      Author
      July 23, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Thanks. Same applies to you 🙂
      I think people can really be inconsiderate when they haven’t experienced something first hand. I think it’s human nature and it’s quite sad to be honest lol besos xxx

  11. July 23, 2018 / 4:45 am

    Absolutely amazing post Katie! I think our pet peeves are on the same lines. People love to give advice that is not asked for, but listening to us talk is often not an option!

    • Kate
      Author
      July 23, 2018 / 7:32 am

      exactly!!

  12. July 23, 2018 / 1:48 am

    You’re anxious because you don’t have a boyfriend?! wtf hahaha, seriously! I’m a med student and hoping to be a GP or a psychiatrist one day, and a huuuuge part of my motivation is so that people who are struggling never have to hear these dumb phrases from someone who is meant to be helping them! I have an eternal struggle trying to explain to my boyfriend that my anxiety is not just me being lazy, but that there’s such a huge struggle going on inside that he can’t see. It sucks to deal with! Loved this post though, and hoping you’re doing well! 🙂 xx

    • Kate
      Author
      July 23, 2018 / 7:35 am

      Thanks for your comment. Doing much better now.
      That psychiatrist was pretty old, so I hope that it’s a generation thing.
      I sometimes feel bad for being “lazy” when I’m in fact paralysed by anxiety.

  13. July 22, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    Accurate! Although, no one ever blamed my anxiety on not having a boyfriend. (If anything, I had less anxiety when I was single).

    Oh, how about this one! “It’s just a phase”. I had literally sat in an emergency room all day waiting for a doctor to evaluate my mental health to determine if I could go home, or if I needed to be checked into the hospital for further psychiatric care, and after completing the evaluation, the doctor told me, “It sounds like this is just a phase” and then sent me home.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Yeah, some doctors can say the weirdest things. I think that ER docs need to make quick decisions based on certain protocols and anxiety probably doesn’t qualify as a life-threatening condition in their books.

  14. July 22, 2018 / 7:49 pm

    This is so perfectly true, I think I’ve had all of these at time or another. The other one for my depression is; ‘why don’t you just cheer up?’ Umm yes, I hadn’t thought about that :/ xx

    angelwingsandpetticoats.com

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      But it’s so easy to cheer up! You’re really not trying! hahaha

  15. July 22, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    Sometimes you just need someone to listen and understand.

  16. July 22, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    I hate every single one of these like – if it was that easy, don’t you think I’d be ‘over it’ by now?? The best one I ever got was from the first GP I saw: ‘you just need some friends and some summer plans’. Ah yes. That’ll cure it.

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.squarespace.com

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 2:56 pm

      Oh wow, that’s as helpful as the “you need a boyfriend” one. Summer plans LOL

  17. Batmom85
    July 22, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Girl I love you so much! You’re my sister from another mister on the other side of the world! giiirrrrrll I’ve gone through the same thing and then when you do open up about your anxiety and the “I’ve never seen you have panic attack” LISTEN LADY IT’S INTERNAL! FEELS LIKE I’M DYING AND ALL I CAN DO IS BLINK AT YOU RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I’M OVERCOME WITH FEAR.. people don’t get it unless they have it. I’ve struggled in silence until this year. Honestly blogging and seeing that so many others had anxiety helped me to not be ashamed anymore. Thank you for your post!

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Oh I hear you. People think you’re supposed to scream or roll on the floor or something?

      I tried to hide my anxiety for years and it’s only recently that I realised that I didn’t give a f*** what people thought. One of the perks of getting older lol Turns out.. people open up to you when you show that you’re not ashamed of you mental health issues.

      Thanks for your comment xoxo

  18. July 22, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    Its all in your head! I’ve had this one too! So insensitive. Sarah Elle x

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Oh yeah! How could I forget that one! I’ve heard it so many times hahahah

  19. July 22, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    One of the worst was the first time I trusted someone enough to tell them I was having a panic attack and asked if we could go outside they said “it can’t be that bad. I saw *insert name here* have one and he was hyperventilating”. We’re not friends anymore. (Not just because if that but it certainly build up to a last straw)

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Two words: good riddance!

  20. July 22, 2018 / 8:12 am

    One of the reasons some people don’t like to share their anxiety or what they’re going through is because someone has said to them in the past “other people have it worse than you.” People shouldn’t judge how a person reacts to something because we all react differently and feel different emotions about certain situations and don’t all handle things the same way. People are allowed to feel pain and sadness, they shouldn’t have to justify their feelings. Thanks for sharing x

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better, Chanelle!

  21. July 21, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    I loved this post, lol. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard several of these as well. People can really be THE worst sometimes when it comes to sensitivity around MI.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 12:55 am

      Lindas are the worst lol

  22. July 21, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    This is such a relatable post Kate! I was signed off work with depression and a Linda said to me “maybe you are just depressed because your bored, you’ll feel better when you go to work”. It’s definitely frustrating when people make such simplistic comments. Thank you for sharing the post lovely 😘💕. Also, being anxious because you don’t have a boyfriend is the best one yet ha ha 🙈 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • Kate
      Author
      July 21, 2018 / 4:04 pm

      Can’t believe that guy went to school for 12 years huh!
      Your Linda is a dumb b****, too!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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