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

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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.

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Thinkstock photo by nito100

Originally published: February 12, 2017
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