Why You Should Never Tell Somebody They are Lying About Their Mental Health
If you are a follower of mine on instagram, you will know that after the Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan and Harry I went on a bit of a rant. I was very triggered by what I was reading online, and how people were calling Meghan a liar, for speaking out about feeling suicidal. I wanted to write this blog post, because when I was writing the instagram post (in the heat of the moment) I didn’t explain why it is so wrong and toxic to say that someone is lying when they are opening up about their mental health and this blog is going to explain what my rant didn’t.
First of all I want to explain why I was so sensitive to the hate that I was hearing and reading. I have had a long history with mental illnesses and there are some things that even to this day I don’t feel comfortable to talk about, but what I will tell you is that I struggled with an eating disorder in secret for ten years. I am twenty-six years old now and when my eating disorder began I was ten and it took me to the age of twenty to ask for help. At the time that I asked for help I had lived HALF OF MY LIFE struggling on my own because I felt like if I asked for help people wouldn’t believe me or would judge me. In that ten years my eating disorder was able to take hold of me and pull me further into the struggles and create extremely unhealthy behaviours, thoughts and habits that to this day I still struggle with, even though I have been in recovery for six years. All I wanted back then was to see people talking about their experiences so that I could feel like I wasn’t alone and so that I could be encouraged to ask for help, so to now see a young (may I add PREGNANT) woman being publicly torn apart in front of billions of people for coming forward and bravely opening up about her struggles makes me very emotional.
I feel sad for those who are or have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Im very worried that the vile comments I have heard and seen are going to stop other people from coming forward and asking for help and for the potential harm people may cause to themselves as a result of this. I can not comprehend why anyone would risk being wrong in this situation. These are the kind of arguments that have the potential to kill people.
As someone who has struggled with their mental health, I can not fathom how people can have the audacity to tell somebody else that what they have experienced isn’t real. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN SOMEBODY ELSES MIND. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK (or in a lot of cases type behind an anonymous account). When it comes to something as sensitive as suicide, if you have nothing nice to say just keep your mouth shut or regret it later.
When I opened up about my mental illness it took an excessive amount of alcohol to do so and even then it was fucking brave of me to do it! I am one of the lucky ones who had a supportive response and got the help that I needed but my heart breaks for people who do not get the same response that I did. Please know that when somebody is opening up to you about their mental health/mental illnesses it is probably the hardest thing that they have ever had to do. Instead of telling people they are lying, why don’t we support them and get them the help that they need instead?!
To anybody who is reading this and has had the same thought as Meghan, please never be afraid to ask for help. No matter what anybody says your thoughts and experiences are valid. You should not feel ashamed for speaking out and asking for help, it is a very strong thing to do.
For anybody that needs it the samaritans helpline is 116 123. They are available 24/7, 7 days a week and are there for you to talk to when you need them.