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14 Lies Your Mental Illness Is Telling You -- and What You Can Say Back

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Mental illness can be a tricky beast when it plays with our thoughts, feelings and moods. It can be hard to tell who’s in control. Am I failing, or is anxiety talking? Am I really worthless, or is that just my depression? Part of recovery is figuring out whose voice is whose — when you can recognize mental illness’ voice, it’s easier to figure out when it’s lying.

To help you combat these lies, we asked our community to share some of the worst lies mental illness tells — and then what they say back.

If you need a good line or two to spit back to your mental illness today, we hope this helps:


Depression says: You are ugly and unlovable. You say back: You are not the truth. You are a lying funhouse mirror. My beauty is beyond your opinion.
Joseph Penola



Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 3.13.37 PM
Julianne Leow



Mental illness said, "No one is ever there for you." You say back, "People are there for me as much as they can be. If I need help, I need to speak up."
Jessica Love



Bipolar disorder says, "I control everything you do and feel." You say back, "With medicine and support, I will have control over you and live a better life."
Michael Tryon



Mental illness says, "You are alone. No one understands what you illness is like." You say back, "True. People don't know what it's like for me personally. But I have friends who have taken the time to understand. They know what kind of support I need."
Calliope Krystal Pia Kilpeläinen


Mental illness says, "You are a worthless, non-productive member of society." You say back, "My career being on hold doesn't diminish the accomplishments I've made up to this point. There will come a time where I can pick up where I left off."
Peggy Sholar-Wilbur



Mental illness says, "You are such a disappointment to everyone around you." You say back, "I am strong and I do things right everyday. I make mistakes and that's okay. I'm not perfect."
Abigayle Petty



Agoraphobia says, "I've got you held prisoner." You say back, "I will break down these walls and be free again some day."
Aunt Sam



Mental illness says, "There is NO future for you beyond this moment." You say back, "This is only ONE moment."
Jordan Sims



Depression says, "You are the only one who has depression." You say back, "I am not. I'll reach out to somebody. Everyone knows somebody who struggles with it."
Jackie Burkey



Depression says, "You are a failure. You are worthless. No one cares. No one understands. You should just disappear." You say back: "You're a liar. I'm not going to give you power today. I will fight you wit every cell in my body. I am worthy. I am beautiful. I'm a good person deserving of happiness. My thoughts belong to me."
Jacqueline Hadley Conrad



Depressions says: "There's no point in going on. This life is worthless." You say back, "I matter. I'll embrace the darkness -- it'll lead me into the light."
Teresa Boardman



Depression and anxiety say, "The world doesn't need you. You have no value. I was created for a purpose. My kindness and love does matter and helps those around me."



Mental illness says, "You can't. You can't get out of bed. You can't do what needs done. You can't take care of things. You can't be happy." You say back, "It's all untrue. I am strong. I am capable. I CAN."
Chelsea Haire


Originally published: February 2, 2016
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