I hate well-meaning advice from people who have absolutely no (or very little) idea what they’re talking about! Some of my ‘favourites’ include:
- “Perhaps you should get more exercise. That’s meant to help with depression.” (Inner Voice Response: I know, fuckwit. I just can’t get myself out the door.)
- “Have you thought about seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist?” (IVR: No, that thought never crossed my mind. You certainly are an insightful and resourceful person.)
- “You should get out and meet more people.” (IVR: Yeah, that’s just what I feel like doing right now, when I can barely get myself out of bed.)
- “I had a friend who went on such-and-such medication. It really helped her. You should talk to your doctor about it.” (IVR: You are a fatuous idiot who has no fucking idea; different medications work for different people, and if you’d been listening to what I’ve been talking about, you’d know I’ve tried every family of antidepressants. Fuckwit.)
- “Don’t worry, you’ll be feeling better soon.” (That doesn’t even merit an inner voice response!)
And, last but not least:
- “Take a long hot shower every day.” (IVR: WTF? I’ve got a mental health issue, dimwit, not BO!)
Now, of course, some of these responses can come from a place of love and well-meaning, and some from an irrefutable scientific position. Yes, my depression would be helped if I socialized more. Yes, many of my symptoms would be alleviated if I exercised more.
What’s lacking is a recognition of the ‘easy said’ aspect of these statements.
So, my friends, if you’re going to offer advice to someone who’s unwell, may I suggest you do it from a place of compassion? Our Inner Voices can get quite fatigued sometimes 🙂