What NOT to Say to Someone with a Mental Illness

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

What to say or not say to someone with mental illness; Some ADHD adults get poor treatment; HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs.

What NOT To Say To Someone With A Mental Illness

I recently read a story about a suicide jumper, a man who leaped from a tall building and landed on a woman's car below . . . and survived. Upon learning about her totaled car, here's what the woman had to say:

I want to meet [Tom Magill] and say, 'Why? Why my car out of all the cars in the city?'

There's no accounting for a selfish comment like this. However, ironically, the very day that story appeared, Kate White, author of the Treating Anxiety blog, wrote a post on Stigma Busting: Things Not to Say to Anxious People. And it got me thinking that sometimes people say things, not to be purposefully cruel, but unintentionally, out of ignorance. These comments, however, still hurt and trivialize what the person with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD or other mental illness is going through. (Read: Stop Minimizing Mental Illness: Worst Things to Say - Breaking Bipolar blog)

Then, there are others who just don't know what to say to someone with a mental illness. They are totally out of their comfort zone and so they blurt something out.

You may know some people in the above categories who don't know what to say. The lists below on what and what not to say really apply to almost all types of mental illnesses. The important take-away from these lists is to be sensitive to what others are experiencing and how your words might impact them. Feel free to share them with others.

From HealthyPlace Mental Health 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.

Mental Health Bloggers Wanted

We are looking for talented writers willing to share personal experiences, insights and knowledge. The details are here.

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Thank you,

Community Partner Team - America's Mental Health Channel
"When you're at, you're never alone."

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2010, September 7). What NOT to Say to Someone with a Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: May 16, 2024

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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