Coping With Mental Health

Coping With Mental Illness

Mental Illness Does Not Give You The Right To:

  • Constantly disrespecting someone’s boundaries, despite them enforcing these boundaries.

Coping with mental illness is one of the most confusing and destabilizing experience a person can go through. However, if you constantly engage in any of these behaviours without taking the steps to manage or deal with the mental health better, then you cannot be excused.

Mental illness is a tricky thing to navigate. On the one hand, you want to feel empathy for the people who are struggling with their mental health. On the other hand, you don’t want to excuse or enable their bad behavior. And in a situation where someone’s mental health is affecting your personal boundaries and you’re not sure what to do about it, it can be difficult to know how to proceed.

Empathy for mental illness can lead us to excuse bad behavior, or give people a pass when they’re acting out in ways that would otherwise be inexcusable. We know it’s not their fault that they’re ill, but we also know that it doesn’t give them the right to treat other people badly. Mental illness is still a valid reason for setting boundaries with people who are suffering from it. You can empathize with someone’s struggle without letting them continue to sabotage your life.

It’s important not only to protect your own boundaries and self-care, but also those of others around you—particularly if they’re close friends or family members. Some of these situations will require compassion while others will require firmness, but either way, it’s vital that you address the situation as soon as possible so that everyone gets back on healthy footing and

  • Ghost people and isolate them without communicating anything to anyone

One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with mental illness is the sense that you will be misunderstood if you talk about it openly. It can seem daunting to explain that you’re not “crazy” or “insane,” because people tend to equate those words with a lack of morality, a dangerous person who should be locked away, or someone who is just “bad.” This association is 100% in opposition to the reality of mental illness.

A person who is mentally ill is no more likely to be dangerous than anyone else—in fact, most people with mental illness are kind, good-natured, and intelligent. However, being mentally ill does make it more difficult to interact with others at times, because it can involve a lot of distress and uncomfortable emotions. When you have mental illness and also work very hard to be in control of your own life, it can feel like a betrayal if someone decides they don’t want to communicate anymore—this is especially true when the reasons for ghosting are unclear.

As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety (two very common mental illnesses) for many years, I understand why ghosting might seem like an appealing option at first. It’s hard to explain why you’re having a hard time in situations where there’s still so

  • Be an unavailable parent

Mental illness is a challenging and complex condition that is often difficult to treat and understand. However, the effects of mental illness do not give you the right to be an unavailable parent. It’s important to recognize that having a mental illness does not preclude you from being a good parent in any way, and it doesn’t mean you can’t be an amazing, involved parent. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Psychologists believe that children of parents who have mental illnesses are more likely to develop psychological problems themselves, but this doesn’t need to be the case. You can still be an involved parent even if you suffer from depression or another mental illness. If you’re out of work or struggling financially due to your illness, talk with your family about how they can help. Let your spouse know that babysitting their grandchildren would help you feel better and might be easier for them than for another family member or a stranger.

You have the ability to make choices and lead your life the way you want it to be, even if you’re experiencing symptoms of mental illness. If you’re in a situation where your condition is interfering with your parenting capabilities, seek treatment so that both you and your child can live healthier lives together.

  • Constantly blame other people and never taking accountability for your part.

It’s important to remember that having mental illness does not give you the right to be a terrible person. If you refuse to take accountability for your part in any situation, it’s hard for people to empathize with you, and it tends to distance you from the people who want to help. If someone takes an action that makes you feel bad, don’t just blame them for everything. It’s never as simple as “They did something bad, so I’m going to feel bad.” Blaming others for your feelings is a way of avoiding taking responsibility for what is happening in your life.

  • Manipulate your partner in order to get your way.

Having a mental illness does not give you the right to manipulate your partner in order to get your way. I’ve seen it happen too often: someone with a mental illness will say that they can’t do something because of their illness, then rely on this as an excuse to get their partner to do it for them. It’s absolutely okay to ask for help or have someone else do things for you — it’s just not okay to use your condition as an excuse to manipulate someone else into doing something for you. The solution, as it turns out, is really quite simple: if you need help with something, just ask for it.

  • Lash out at people, throw or destroy things.

Having a mental illness is no excuse to lash out at people, throw or destroy things, or to do anything else illegal or immoral. The same rules apply to anyone who has any kind of illness or disability.

In addition, while it’s normal to feel anxious when you’re dealing with a mental health issue, that doesn’t give you the right to lash out at people who are trying their best to help you.

If you’re feeling threatened by someone—whether it’s your boss, your spouse, your parent, your friend—that’s also no excuse for threatening behavior.

Empathy should be the cornerstone of all relationships. Even if your loved one doesn’t understand why you’re upset, be understanding of their confusion and try to explain yourself in a way that they can understand.

If you feel like people are being too standoffish or worried about saying the wrong thing, try to share some resources with them that will help them understand what you’re going through and how they can help—just don’t make the mistake of thinking that a website or book written by someone who doesn’t know you will be able to replace support from someone who cares about you.

  • Be racist, sexist, classist, or discriminatory in any form.
  • Mental illness isn’t an excuse for problematic behaviour.

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