mental health thoughts 

our community responses to our peers mental health crises range from "not helpful" to "actively damaging" and it's so rare for people to critically analyze it i think because a lot of us go through the same stuff so the assumption is that, having similar experiences, of course we're responding in the best way we can. but actually we're just like, repeating the ways we were /taught/ to respond to mh crises and those ways are Bad

mental health thoughts 

i'm gonna,, talk about this a bit sorry in advance

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list of bad ways to respond to mh shit, 1/? 

ok here's a list of common (shitty) ways people respond to mh stuff and how they actual affect the person in question:

what you say: you aren't bad!! (you aren't broken, you're such a good person, etc)
things they will hear:
-i've tricked you into thinking i'm good, making me worse
-so there's no reason for me to be feeling this bad stuff??
-you aren't listening to me (i just explained how i did bad stuff)

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list of bad ways to respond to mh shit, 2/? 

what you say: it really does get better! i went through this too
what they hear:
-other nd ppl have a chance to heal but not me
-all this stuff i'm going through right now doesn't matter??
-i'm only worth something once i'm better

what you say: i'm worried about you
what they hear:
-oh god i made them upset now i have to make them feel better
-they don't respect my agency as an adult

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list of bad ways to respond to mh shit, 3/? 

what you say: have you tried [x]
what they hear:
-oh god this is my fault if only i did that stuff i wouldn't be feeling this
-they're assuming i haven't tried that already??
-they just want to feel good about helping

what you say: you're not alone/other people go through this
what they hear:
-they're not speaking from personal experience or backing this up so it's not very believable
-other peoppe manage this and i can't

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responding to mh shit, 4/? 

the core problems with more or less all of these responses are the following:
-they do not actually validate the person's emotions
-they assume the person is right now actively trying/wanting to get better, instead of Venting (an incredibly important mh care thing)
-they assume they know better than the person who is literally talking about their own brain and experiences lol
-they often put pressure on the person to convince the advice giver their advice helped

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 5/? 

first!! don't fucking try and figure that shit out on ur own homie?? /talk/ with ur community and directly to people u support about what makes them /personally/ feel better. get their consent to do stuff for them. learn what types of responses are triggering or aggravating 2 them. there is no one size fits all answer everyone has different comforts and needs

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 6/? 

that being said, there's some responses that /seem/, in my personal experience, to be generally better received.

one: literally just confirm you're listening. use whatever tools available for the type of interaction (faving, saying mmhmm, whatever) to just remind them you're paying attention

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 7/? 

two: confirm their emotions. "that fucking sucks ass" "god i can't imagine how difficult that must be" "that was a super fucked up thing that happened to you". legit just reassure them that you believe them and their experiences

three: *if* you have had a similar experience, discuss that as appropriate. don't talk over them or give them unsolicited advice, but it is very good to be reassured ur not alone/being ridiculous.

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 8/? 

four: be honest about when you're not available. a) if you try to be emotionally available all the time you'll burn out and end up ghosting them which is 80000x worse. and b) if they suspect they're taking advantage of ur time they may stop engaging with you out of fear of a.

five: if u have the resources and opportunity, and they've indicated it's ok, do shit for them even when they're not going through a crisis. send them stuff and (cont)

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 9/? 

say "this made me think of you". bring them some food. take their trash out when you leave their house. send them a card. text them and say "no pressure to text me back just wanted to remind you that you're cool!!" like. cater it to the person obviously?? many of these things might make individual ppl uncomfortable. but figure out what makes them feel relieved, feel loved, etc. and see if it's ok to do it for them once in a while?

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 10/10 

ok that's. what i wanted to say. there's definitely An Unfathomable amount more that could be discussed on this topic but like. yeah let's open it up?? let's fucking talk about it. tell people what actually makes u feel better. don't dismiss ur friends angsty/reluctant responses to your advice as "the mood they're in". you might actually be being harmful. just?? idk. think about it more i guess

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(some better ways of) responding to mh shit, 10/10 

@myconidiosyncrasy thank you a million times for taking the time to write this, I have kind of piss poor intuition about how to approach being supportive well and this was incredibly helpful.

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