I wanted to post this as a reminder, because it can be difficult to talk about mental health and walk all of the thin lines of things you “should” say and things you “shouldn’t.” It’s not always that clear-cut.
“It’s important to note that people have different levels of sensitivity to mental health stigma. Some people might not be bothered by hearing others are glad they’re getting help; just like I’m not bothered by the word “crazy,” although I know many people are. In light of this, communication is vital, and I mean that for both sides of the conversation.
Those of us who deal with mental illness can’t expect people to be psychic and know what bothers us. We need to speak up when we feel something is stigmatizing toward mental health, or in this case, mental health treatment, like my friend did. Her post shared with her circle how she prefers to hear “get well soon” rather than have people say they’re glad she’s “getting the help she needs.”
As a blogger, and social media user, yes I want to try and be as careful as I can to post supportive messages, and not make anyone feel stigmatized through my words. That’s important, but I also have to remember that everyone is different. When you’re talking with someone through whatever medium, it’s important to not assume ill-intent. If the term “getting help” feels stigmatizing to you, simply ask people not to use it, suggest some other terms, etc. Have a conversation about how you want to talk about your mental health. Keep the lines of communication open, on both sides.
That’s how you end stigma. By communicating, instead of shutting anyone down.