Just get over it
Mental Health
Just get over it already – Why we can’t ‘get over it’

I’ve actually had someone tell me this recently.  They used one of my previous posts about anxiety as a way to figuratively spit in my face.  “Get over it.”  Seriously – one of the few things that piss me off the most are these three simple yet totally hurtful words.

Yes, they are hurtful and come from a very naïve state of mind.  If you have ever thought those words, please – I beg of you please never tell them to a friend or relative who deals with mental health challenges.

You might not like the response…Just get over it

For someone dealing w/ #mentalhealth, there aren't always physical signs Click To Tweet

Why is it naïve to say this?

Mental health issues like depression, PTSD, bipolar, or anxiety each deal with it in different ways.  What is the same for one isn’t the same for all.  The mind works in interesting ways.  Yes, we all have similar symptoms, but how we handle them isn’t the same.

Would you say just get over it to someone going through Cancer, Lupus, or ALS?  No – because those are physical states that happen to a person’s body.  Telling them just to “get over it” won’t help them at all.  They need medical care, dietary changes, and a complete network of support.

For someone dealing with mental issues, there aren’t always physical signs.

 

Travis for one doesn’t always know when I’m going through a panic attack because most of the time they are symptomless.  Most of the time I don’t even know that I’m going through them until it’s almost over.

Only on the really bad attacks does he notice.  I’m constantly fidgeting – a nervous tick that I picked up during my days with self-infliction.  I’m crying or sometimes I’m simply staring off into space.  My eye contact is anywhere but at the person.  Or the worse is when I’m in flight mode and I want to leave.

My whole body is on edge and every muscle is itching to move towards the nearest exit.  Sometimes pacing is needed so just to expel the extra energy and adrenaline that my heart is pumping at that moment.

Just get over it

It’s hurtful

It shows that you don’t understand me nor do you want to.  I’ve heard so many people say that what happened to me has happened a long time ago – get over it…

Just because you – yourself can handle, process and get rid of something doesn’t mean that I have to or even can for that matter.  Last time I checked I was a different person.

Granted most people who say these types of things don’t deal with a mental disorder.  They don’t know what the weight of depression feels like.  They simply get sad and then become “happy or normal” again.

They don’t know the frantic mind racing around as they deal with anxiety.  They have a moment of anxious but it passes.  It doesn’t consume their every thought at night.  It doesn’t keep them lying awake every single night or feel like their heart might beat right out of their chest.

To really know is to actually have a mental illness

As much as I would love for other people to understand me – they only can fully fathom it when they have it.  And I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I wouldn’t wish the countless nights crying myself.  To have to wish away the pain of depression looming over every good day… or even the complete numbness that one can feel with it.

I couldn’t wish this on anyone else…

So, when you tell me to “just get over it” – how about you don’t.

How about you offer me your ear to listen to when I need it.  Have a hand out to hold onto me when I’m about to cry.  Or even accept the fact that I’ve canceled plans again because my anxiety is overwhelming.

You can't tell someone dealing w/ #mentalillness to just get over it already. Here's why... Click To Tweet

How about you just have compassion and just be there?

Telling someone who is depressed to “just get over it” is like telling a blind person to “just look harder.”

Just get over it

  • Suzi Leigh

    I’m sorry that was said to you. It is ignorance for sure. I’m not sure how much awareness it’s going to take before we as a culture recognize mental illness as a real illness but it’s a fight to keep fighting.

    • Thanks Suzi. It is a fight that I’m happy to continue and to show awareness to. I’m finally finding myself and accepting myself – flaws and all. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • I was visiting Reddit /r/depression last night and saw a similar topic of conversation about talking to others when you’re depressed. How it doesn’t do much good because you hear the same generic responses of “It gets better”, “Hang on”, “Just man up”, etc. Then I saw their sidebar:

    Do not post with: General uplifting or “it gets better” messages. Encouragement is not helpful unless it integrates real, personal understanding of the OP’s feelings and situation.

    and that is so true. People don’t tend to understand that generic messages or being told to just get over it aren’t the answer. Those who struggle are constantly told to seek help, but when we do – that’s the messages we get and that’s not helpful. We then wonder why we opened ourselves up.

    • Yes – that is so true. Sad, but true. When we do open up and get shot down with the bland rhetoric we start closing ourselves off again. I’ll have to look at Reddit more for this… I will be honest I don’t go on there a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  • Morgan Greenwood

    I’m sorry that was said to you. It definitely seems as if the person who says things like “it will get better”, is diminishing the struggle of mental illness. Some people just don’t get it. This was a great post!

    • Thank you Morgan. I think that’s just it. People don’t get it. People still think that it’s “all in our heads” or don’t understand that it is more than that. I hope that I can shine a light into this part of mental illness and hope that people will understand – or be more compassionate to those that speak to.

      Thank you again.

  • So sorry for the hurtful words. Some people should really think before they speak – and they should think about the consequences of their words! Hugs xxx

    • Thank you Chrissy. I just hope that my words could be used to inspire people to become more aware of who they are talking to. Everyone has a battle as they say – some it’s more hidden or taboo.

      Hope you have a great day. Cheers luv.

  • I fear I have probably said this to someone at multiple points in my life. It’s sad because sometimes we aren’t aware of the consequences of our words. A lot of people just don’t understand who to be there and awareness helps change this.
    Lots of hugs and thank you for writing this

    • Thanks Angela. I know that I might have said something similar to this. I know that sometimes my words don’t always portray what I’m intending. (Sometimes, I’m really sucky with my word choices. Pfft.)

      If we can promote awareness to this – perhaps we can help so many others who have silent struggles.