Due to the numerous hospitalizations and suicide attempts (the last of which almost succeeded), I lost the respect of my family and friends. My mother stopped interacting with me for nearly a year and a half. She told me not to call her, not to come to her house, and a bunch of other stuff. I was crushed and I do mean crushed. She was my only friend at that point, and she was withdrawing her support. That was a very bleak and dark time in my life which I care not to remember. There are still members of my family that will not associate with me due to my mental health problems. I do not think words can describe how much that hurts. These are people who used to babysit me, and now they want nothing to do with me. I am mentally ill. It doesn’t make sense to me for the simple fact that I have been relatively stable for the better part of eight years.
We talk about stigma and how it plays out in society in general, and how it plays out in the media, etc. This is real stigma, when people are so uncomfortable with the idea of mental health struggles that they distance themselves from someone they have known and loved because they are struggling.
What a great way to hurt someone who is already doubting themselves. Don’t do that. You don’t need to fix them, or solve their problem, you just need to be there.