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How Do You Describe Yourself When Facing Mental Illness?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Mental illness is not who people are at their core. Learn how the way you describe yourself can affect your mental health at HealthyPlace

How Do You Describe Yourself When Facing Mental Illness?

Mental health challenges can be difficult enough on their own. They become daunting when we beat ourselves up because of them and describe ourselves harshly, negatively—and unfairly. Looking beyond the mental illness symptoms can feel impossible, and people come to describe themselves pretty cruelly.

When "I'm depressed" replaces "I live with depression," or "I'm inept around people" replaces "I'm experiencing social anxiety," people begin to internalize their mental health challenges. This self-labeling leads to other negative descriptions such as "loser," "worthless," and more. Using harsh descriptions affects the way we think about ourselves, feel about ourselves, and interact with the world. (Combat Negative Self-Talk with the Three C's)

Mental illness is something people deal with; it is not who people are at their core. Separating yourself from your mental health challenges is an important step in describing yourself accurately and kindly.

  • Examine who you are beyond what you're dealing with.
  • Catch yourself using negative descriptions, and change them.
  • Use this formula: "I may have social anxiety, but I am _______ or I can_______.
  • Keep a self-description journal to jot down and return to these empowering descriptions.
  • How do you describe yourself when facing mental health challenges? Are you describing side effects of the challenges, or are you describing your true self?


How do you describe yourself when facing mental health challenges? Are you describing side effects of the challenges, or are you describing your true self?

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Health Self-Stigma

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Today’s Question: What helps you describe yourself in a realistic, positive way?  We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

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Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. 6 Tips on How to Find a Great Mental Health Counselor
  2. Practice Self-Care on a Budget
  3. PTSD and Fatigue: Is It Normal to Feel So Tired?

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.

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From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.

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That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the HealthyPlace.com site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network. For updates throughout the week:

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, January 20). How Do You Describe Yourself When Facing Mental Illness?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/how-do-you-describe-yourself-when-facing-mental-illness

Last Updated: November 17, 2022
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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