Mental Health

Words Matter: Reassuring and Hurtful Mental Health Statements

Holidays and customary social gatherings can be tough on mental health. So, I want to offer some mental health advice to friends and loved ones. I recently published two vulnerable and very important mental health awareness blog posts; I shared some serious truths about my life with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression. I shared this information publicly for two reasons; (1) to educate people who don’t understand mental illness, and (2) to show people like me that they are not alone.

Now, I’m sharing again. In this post you will find two lists; (1) A list of reassuring things that I want to hear from my friends and loved ones, and (2) A list of seemingly harmless comments that hurt me, and my mental health. You can view both lists here. You can also read detailed explanations for each statement by visiting my original blog posts; links attached.

Words Matter

Words matter. Comments matter. So, this holiday season please be conscious of your words. They might have a huge impact on someone who is living with mental illness. Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive, wrote; “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can lead to years of irreparable damage, anxiety disorder, and a tendency to alcoholism.” I agree, words are powerful.

10 Reassuring Things I Want to Hear You Say

  1. You are not alone. / I’m here for you.
  2. What can I do to help you? / Is there anything I can do?
  3. Your feelings are valid. / Your feelings matter.
  4. You won’t always feel this way. / This is temporary.
  5. Take your time. / There is no need to rush.
  6. Talk to me, I’m listening. / I’m always here, in case you want to talk.
  7. I’ll support you, / I’ll be there for you, no matter what.
  8. What kind of thoughts are you having? / How are you feeling today?
  9. I’m glad you’re in my life. / I’m happy that we’re friends.
  10. I care about you. / I love you.

To read the unabridged version of this list, complete with detailed explanations, and bonus content, you can visit the original post; 10 Reassuring Things I Want to Hear You Say: Mental Health Awareness.

10 “Harmless Things” You Say That Hurt Me

  1. You don’t look like you have a mental illness.
  2. I wish I was manic; I’d get so much done.
  3. You just need a hobby.
  4. Have you tried praying about it? / You need to pray harder.
  5. Everybody gets sad/stressed sometimes, it doesn’t mean you have a mental illness.
  6. But your life is perfect, you have nothing to be depressed about.
  7. You must be manic right now.
  8. At least there’s nothing physically wrong with you.
  9. Have you tried herbal remedies?
  10. Good thing you’re not a mother, you wouldn’t be able to handle it.

To read the unabridged version of this list, complete with detailed explanations, you can visit the original post; 10 Harmless Things You Say That Hurt Me: Mental Health Awareness.

If You Are Struggling…

Depression is real. Thoughts of worthlessness feel real. Self-doubt feels real. These emotions can feel heightened over the holidays. The realness and validity of these emotions can make us forget that hope is also real; this type of forgetfulness terrifies me. Please, always remember: everything is temporary, and hope is real. During bad times, things can seem unmovable and debilitating. But the bad is temporary. It will pass eventually. Good will come. The best part: when the good comes, the bad will fade away, the bad will become a fleeting memory. What seems unmovable now, will be easily forgotten later.

During the holidays, make your mental health a priority. There is an entire world full of people who are on your team. Never, ever, ever, give up. You matter.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT: Every time you call out, you’re a little less alone. You matter, and you deserve support. For mental health support systems and online communities, visit; Uncustomary Housewife – Mental Health Support Systems and Communities


You can connect with the Uncustomary Housewife on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also subscribe to the Uncustomary Housewife Blog.


Sincerely, Elizabeth – Uncustomary Housewife


12 comments on “Words Matter: Reassuring and Hurtful Mental Health Statements

  1. Excellent! Words DO matter.

  2. Thanks for the post. I like number four on your good list best.

    I have had a number if the comments on the bad list said to me at different times. Plus, you just need to to get more exercise. I would add that to the list. And you are also right that those comments do hurt.

    • You are correct, I’ve been told that exercise will cure my mental illness many times. In my case, exercise makes my self-confidence better, and it helps me love myself more… but it can’t cure my mental illness. Thank you for your comment, I sincerely appreciate it. I hope you are doing well.

  3. Beautifully written and informative too! Straight from the heart, words do matter. Thanks for sharing 🙏😊💜

  4. Remember also that nothing is “perfect”. The media shows us a non-stop stream of “perfection” – the perfect house, the perfect friend, the perfect life – but it’s all a fantasy.

    All too often, we wind up internalizing this fantasy of “perfection”, and then beat ourselves up when we fall short of what we think we see. EVERYONE falls short! No one can really live up to the airbrushed, professionally styled, perfectly manicured images that the media feeds us 24/7. It’s impossible. You do NOT have to live up to that image! You are wonderful, just the way you are.

  5. Pingback: Uncustomary December: A Rundown of my Month – Uncustomary Housewife

  6. Kristie Konsoer

    Yes, words and comments do matter! Thank you for sharing yours. I noticed all of the things on your reassuring list and many of the ideas on your hurtful list are also applicable to someone with a cancer diagnosis. I work hard to keep more of the reassuring people in my life. I’ve become much more out spoken when I hear something hurtful because if I don’t speak up (as kindly as possible or sometimes very bluntly) those ideas get repeated and they are not helpful to me.

  7. Great list! It’s so easy for people to downplay mental illnesses as something so trivial as opposed to the reality of how debilitating it can be. I once told a guy I have anxiety and he told me that he gets nervous too… yeah, those are not the same things lol.

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