Don’t say this to a teenager with a mental health problem

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The moment the word therapy is uttered, people have apprehensions. Mental health is a sensitive subject. With more awareness in this area, well-being of mind is now equally important as physical health. Sadness, depression, anxiety, fear and stress are problems in mental health which are addressed after the person meets up with a counselling psychologist.

Don’t say this to a teenager with a mental health problem :-

  • You will get over it – If you think your friend is sad or depressed, never say these words as each one of us has a different coping skill. Saying that it will go away does not really help. It is not a zit.
  • You seem to be laidback about the solution – Humans have immense surviving mechanism. Your friend has a different one and is a different individual with many traits and preferences. Perhaps, he is not able to convince himself for finding a solution. Telling him he is laidback will worsen the matter. It is best to get help for the depression or any other mental issue.
  • You look depressed – His eyes may not seem right and has your friend also lost interest in dressing well? Allow him time. On a lazy Sunday, we all like to waft around in our cosy drawstrings. So it is just that your friend is having too many such Sundays. The truth is that your friend is trying to get comfortable in his own being. Allow him to be.
  • You are thinking negatively – The negative issue may be internal or external. It is a pattern or a system the person has allowed himself to be comfortable in. But such a statement will reinforce his thought and he understands that he is a negative person. So there is more scope for self-injury and self-pity.
  • I have seen worse things in life – It is great if you can overcome issues but your dear friend does not have a cape. And yes, there is no way to compare ones’ mental health issue with another as the minds are different.
  • Life is fair, you know – Your friend wants you to listen. It may seem to you that he is in the self-pity mode but your sermon about life being fair does not fit in his mental compartment. Be a good listener and find a professional mental health help expert near you to guide him with a therapy.
  • Push yourself and try harder – The mental gym works on a different rhythm. The body and mind have to be synchronized. His walk is slow, his speech is not focussed and he is no mood to push himself physically. Mentally too, this is not the time to try hard.
  • You are being a Complaint box – Friends are the best remedy especially when you are in the dumps. If you shoo away your friend and deem her as a cry baby or complaint box, the door closes and she may experience more peril. If you are unable to decipher, hold her hand and tell her you will listen but find a counselling psychologist near your locality.

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