“When we bring up mental illness and something in your eyes and body language changes, it hurts. When you are suddenly like, “Have you seen the new season of Orange Is The New Black?” it makes is feel like our struggle is something we should hide and be ashamed of. It makes us feel like mental illness is a weird monster when it’s more like a Sesame Street muppet monster. It’s nothing to be afraid of. (BTW We do want to talk about Orange Is The New Black but after you compassionately listen to us.)
We notice when you suddenly need a drink refill when we bring up mental illness, and it’s not cool.
Friend: The anxiety has been hard.
You: I AM THIRSTY.”
There is so much truth here. I get that hearing about someone’s mental health struggles can be awkward, but believe me, bringing it up in the first place is so much harder than listening, and really, that’s all you have to do, listen. Just listening is 100% better than the average response that we get and your friends will love you for that. You don’t have to have the answer, in fact, we don’t expect you to, just listen!