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Mental Health Clichés You Need To Avoid

There are so many phrases that are stigmatizing, yet they are overused by many. Although worn-out, some clichés can be helpful. Most clichés about mental health are not helpful, however. Mental health clichés can be harmful to those in recovery because they are often used by someone who is unaware of what you are really going through. When they say “be positive!” or “smile more!” they probably are trying to help; however, they probably just made you feel even worse. Here are some mental health clichés we should all avoid:

1. Be positive/Smile more/Just be happy

When someone says this to someone who is suffering from a mental illness, they are minimizing what the person is going through. Although they don’t understand why what they’re saying is hurtful, they should take the first step and realize that it is hurtful. If it was as easy as being positive and smiling, no one would be sad or anxious; but, it is not that easy. Those who are suffering have tried to be positive and smile. They’ve tried to put on a happy face. They want nothing more than to just be happy. Instead of minimizing someone’s pain, try to acknowledge what the person is going through. Tell them you see them and that you’re there for them.

2. Think of all the people who have it worse/Be grateful

This one grinds our gears. Just because someone may have it worse than you does not mean you are not allowed to be sad. We don’t tell happy people “think of all the people who have it better than you, you don’t deserve to be happy.” So, why do we say the opposite to those that are sad? Yes, we know that some people have it worse. However, we are still allowed to feel our feelings — this does not mean we are ungrateful.

At Villa Tranquil Recovery, we are here for you. We understand that you can’t just smile more and force yourself to be grateful. We see your feelings and we want you to know that your feelings are valid. At Villa Tranquil Recovery, we are cognizant of what we say and how we say it. We want to make you aware of how your words impact those around you. Let’s work together to stop using clichés like these. They stop people from reaching out and getting help. If you think you need help today, contact us at 866-697-7573.