What To Do When Family and Friends Don’t Accept Your Mental Illness

I recently had a conversation with a friend in which she asked me how to deal with family members not accepting your depression and talking down on you for it. After helping her through her problem, it got me thinking of my own battle with my mental health and how I’ve had to deal with others not being accepting of my mental illnesses. I’ve often felt misunderstood when it comes to struggling with my mental health and wondered why it was so hard for others to understand it. I’ve come to realize that if someone can’t learn to accept you, it’s because of their own ignorance. I wanted to share the tips I gave to her for any of you who are also struggling with something similar.

  1. Find support from others. There’s a whole community of people around the world who get it. Find support from others whether it be online or meeting new people face to face. Another great option for support is seeing a therapist.
  2. Realize many people are ignorant to what mental illness is and what it isn’t. Not understanding a situation can make it difficult to accept it but this isn’t an excuse to treat people like shit. I know these are people you love and care for but if you’ve tried to open up and get them to understand and they still don’t, it’s time to seek support from elsewhere.
  3. Understand that them putting you down is not a reflection of who you are. Try not to feed into their views and make them your own.
  4. Find ways to build yourself up. Mental illness robs you of so much so this part will be challenging. If you can get into the habit of doing it and validating yourself and what you’re going through, you’ll realize that even if they never accept it, you will be ok.

Of course, this is an uncomfortable experience for anyone going through it. It’s heartbreaking to know that those in your life won’t take the time to educate themselves on mental health. However, keeping these tips in mind might help make the process a little easier.

Take care.

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