themighty logo

Sh*t People Say to People With Mental Illness


Finally, there’s a sh*t people say to people with mental illness video, and it’s pretty hilarious — especially if you’ve been there.

“For so many years I’ve heard people say things like this, but haven’t spoken up,” the video’s creator Rachel Griffin, a graduate student at New York University, told The Mighty. “When you’re having a hard time in your own mind and people say things like this, it only adds to the shame.”

Griffin, who’s been diagnosed with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, also wrote a musical comedy about mental illness set in a psychiatric facility. She says for her, humor is healing.

“I know what it’s like to cry at the pharmacy because you’re insurance isn’t working,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be put on hold for hours, only to be told you can’t get an appointment for another three months. I’ve transferred all of that frustration into advocacy and humor.”

Her “Sh*t People Say To People With Mental Illness” video features characters like an anchor reporting the nightly news, the life coach who doesn’t believe in medication and the friend who understands depression because she has also been sad.

Here are some of our favorite lines:

1. “Just smile!”

2. “Aw, no I’m totally comfortable with it! I’m so glad you told me. Just promise me one thing: never, ever bring it up again.”

3. [newscaster voice] “What the psycho killer mentally ill? More tonight at 10.”

4. “God may be punishing you.”

5. “Think of all the people who have it worse.”

6. “Before I became enlightened, I was also depressed.”

7. “You don’t look like a person with a mental illness, because you’re not like, ugly and weird.”

8. “We all get the blues.”

9. “Have you tried yoga?”

10. “Someone forgot their meds this morning.” 

To see more from Griffin, check out her YouTube channel and follow her blog.