We often tend to ignore or neglect the symptoms of any mental illness. One of the biggest mistakes you can do, as a second person is to push the person suffering into this even further. It is all about our words. Our words build the foundation of the person who we become and who we are.
Choose your words wisely especially when you know someone is going through this. Don’t necessarily remind them of their illness all the time, no, that’s not required but just talk to them, let them feel that you’re there.
Things you should never say to a person who can you feel is going through any of this –
• What have you got to feel so worse about? There are people even worse than you.
• This is such a trivial thing.
•Life’s not full of roses.
•Stop feeling so sorry for yourself. Move on.
• Snap out of it.
• I know how you feel. I was also depressed for a week when my dog died.
•You’re ruining the vibe here.
• It’s not a big deal.
• If you go out and socialize this will go away.
• Have you tried chamomile tea?
And I’m not asking you to pull their arm and take them to the doctor right away. Give them all the external support you can. So here is a list of a few things you can do to help any person suffering from mental illness of any sort –
1. Be Kind.
Not for people going through any mental illness but in general too. Be kind to people, be soft and gentle. You have absolutely no idea what the other might be going through, don’t add on to it and make it even worse. Compliment them and make them feel wanted.
2. Choose your words wisely
As I’ve mentioned before, your words and actions can impact the other person on a suicidal level. Every person’s thought process is very different and the way they perceive things can also be different. Don’t make it worse for them than it already is.
3. Behave normally and be there for them.
Don’t remind them of their problems all along. Be there for them and make sure they know that they’ve got people around them. Support them and talk to them. They’re not aliens. They are normal human beings going through something normal.
4. Be compassionate.
Be respectful, compassionate and empathetic to their feelings by engaging in reflective listening, such as “I hear that you are having a bad day today. Yes, some days are certainly more challenging than others. I understand.”
5. Be a good listener.
Be responsive and listen to them while making eye contacts. Make them feel heard. At times, feeling heard can eradicate the entire problem itself. Remind them that it’s okay and you are going to be there for them and will be, even after the problem goes away.