WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER.

Hi all,

If you’ve been (un)lucky enough like me to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I can pretty much guarantee at some point, one (or more) of these phrases has been said to you… most probably by some a r s e h o l e who has no clue what they’re talking about…

  1. “You shouldn’t be taking medications, it damages your brain”.
  2. “You’re such a nice girl, why would you want to do that to yourself?”
  3. “But you always seem happy whenever I see you?”
  4. “You don’t LOOK like you have bipolar…”
  5. “Have you tried just thinking happy thoughts?”
  6. “You seem so normal”
  7. “Can’t you just snap out of it?”
  8. “Uh, what’s happened now?”
  9. “You’ve been like this for so long…”
  10. “Did the doctors believe you then?”
  11. “It must be your time of the month”
  12. “I wish I could be manic to get stuff done…”
  13. “OMG I know how you feel, I’m so bipolar with my moods lately…”
  14. “How can you stop drinking for your medication, just stop the medication!”
  15. “Can’t you take anything herbal?”
  16. “Just remember, someone has it worse than you.”
  17. “I used to have high hopes for you.”
  18. “It’s all in your head.”
  19. “Maybe you meds have stopped working…”
  20. “Everyone’s a little bipolar sometimes”
  21. “You’re just too sensitive”
  22. “You’re too smart to have bipolar”
  23. “You can’t have bipolar, people with bipolar are fucking crazy”
  24. “You’re only saying that because you’re manic”
  25. “I have bipolar too, I’m always happy and sad!”
  26. “Just have one, it’ll be fine”
  27. “I reckon X is bipolar, they’re bloody mental!”
  28. “My dad’s brothers friend’s sister has bipolar and she’s alright.”
  29. “Everyone has mood swings”
  30. “You know she’s bipolar right…”
  31. “Just don’t take things so personally”

Whilst most of these comments might be made with good intentions, they all add to the stigma which still exists surrounding mental illness. Taking time to choose your words can help to strengthen a relationship, fuel someone’s recovery and simply make a better quality of life for everyone.

Phrases which DO help:

  1. “When this is all over, I will still be here.”
  2. “You are important to me.”
  3. “This will pass, and we will get through this together.”
  4. “I will be your friend no matter what.”
  5. “I’m always willing to listen.”
  6. “I’m sorry that you are struggling. Your feelings are valid.”
  7. “You are not on your own.”
  8. “Despite what your brain tells you, I care about you.”
  9. “Can I do anything to help you right now?”
  10. “I’m so proud of you.”
  11. “I understand that this is a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings.”
  12. “The way you feel right now will change. You will feel like you again.”
  13. “I may not completely understand but I care about you and want to help.”

Have you had unhelpful comments? What would you like to hear from your loved ones?

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3 thoughts on “WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER.

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