A Challenge to Try (Instead of Getting Mad) When People Invalidate Your Mental Illness


Lately I’ve been seeing something that disturbs me: people with mental illnesses bashing people without mental illnesses. I’m a person who has ADD, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder, and I’ve had my fair share of people who just didn’t understand my illnesses/disability. Trust me, I know what it’s like to have my struggles thrown to the side and invalidated, and it hurts severely every time it happens. This happens a lot to people with mental illness because it’s hard, almost impossible even, to really understand what it’s like unless you’ve gone through it yourself.

I’ve seen so many posts on social media angrily lashing out at those who don’t understand mental illness, and it makes me sad. If we do that, are we any better than they are? It is our job to educate those without mental illness, not to bash them! Now granted I know not everyone with mental illness does this. So here’s my challenge to you: the next time someone says or does something that invalidates your illness, just say “oh” and let it go. Take a deep breath and try to educate that person who doesn’t understand. If they don’t want to listen, you don’t need to be around them anyway. You never know, someone may be willing to listen. And if they don’t, forgive them anyway. What good are you doing to yourself my staying mad at them? Being bitter is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by nito100


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Illustration of a boy coloring walls in white inside humans head.

5 Things Psychotherapy Has Done for Me

Why pay $250 an hour just to talk to someone? That was my sister’s reaction when I said I was going to start seeing a therapist. This is my answer. Well, Lucy, while a psychiatrist doesn’t cost 5 cents anymore, therapy can be had for a lot less than $250. There are community mental health [...]
two people drinking coffee and holding hands

The Easiest Way to Help a Loved One With a Mental Illness

I’ve had the unique, and unfortunate, opportunity of experiencing mental illness from three perspectives: as a student studying psychology, as a supportive and concerned friend and as a person with depression and anxiety. When you’re experiencing these illnesses, it’s difficult to vocalize exactly how you feel and how the people around you can help. So when [...]
an illustration of a girl with flowers and other items in her hair

The Danger of Being 'the Girl Who Is Always Smiling'

It was a clear-skied October afternoon. The sun streamed through the trees. The sounds of laughter and birdsong floated through the air, flawlessly melding to a harmonic cadence. I stood in a patch of dappled sunlight, chatting lightheartedly with a friend, attempting to absorb the happiness and joviality surrounding me, but I felt frantic. Anxious. [...]

Things I Want the ER Staff to Know as a Person With a Mental Illness

A letter to the emergency room hospital staff on how they treat people with mental illness, from a patient with mental illness. Read the full story.