LIFESTYLE
08/05/2018 10:37 SAST | Updated 08/05/2018 10:38 SAST

"Black People Don't Do Suicide" – Shockers People With Mental Illnesses Hear

#ThingsPeopleHaveSaidAboutMyMentalIllness.

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People living with mental illnesses are revealing the most hurtful things others have said about their conditions on Twitter.

From comments that suggest it's all in their heads, to beliefs about mental illnesses being something that only affects a certain race, here are some top posts from the hashtag:

While U.K. writer Hattie Gladwell — who started the hashtag — said it was a chance for those suffering from mental illness to explain how comments have hurt them, the posts were an eye-opener, and not in a very good way.

"It's incredibly sad to see the pain and stigma so many people have received, and most of the time it's from people they are close to — their partners, their families — and I think that's what hurts the most," said Cassey Chambers, operations director at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag).

There are a number of people who do not treat mental illness with compassion. At times, it can seem like many do not even want to try to understand, simply because they cannot relate.

She also noted a common theme — many comments sound very much the same; an indication of how some people put all mental health conditions in the same category.

Chambers told HuffPost that the stigma is very much alive, and although barriers have been broken in creating awareness about mental illnesses, "hearing comments like this, we realise that there's still a lot of work to do."

She hoped the hashtag could provide an opportunity to shine light on insensitive phrases and questions.

Those suffering from mental illness don't need to be told how to 'get better' by people who haven't struggled themselves.

"There are a number of people who do not treat mental illness with compassion. At times, it can seem like many do not even want to try to understand, simply because they cannot relate," Gladwell wrote.

"Those suffering from mental illness don't need to be told how to 'get better' by people who haven't struggled themselves. They do not need to be told their medication is a bad idea or that they should 'just go out and get some fresh air' or even worse — that they should 'just get on with it' [i.e. commit suicide]," she said.