So many people compare mental illness to drowning and it got me thinking. Those of us who suffer from mental illness hear the stupid crap that comes out of people’s brains in the guise of “helpful advice”. So with that in mind, I thought I’d take all this advice and apply it to drowning just so people can see how really helpful it is. Please imagine you are one of the many people on shore while someone in the lake is drowning. You don’t know what has caused them to start drowning nor do you know what their swimming skills may or may not be. All you know is they’re drowning while you and your friends drink iced tea on shore. This is what you hear;

  1. It’s your own fault you’re drowning, you know.
  2. Do you really need that life jacket? I think it’s a crutch. (A variation of that is that the life jacket is secretly poisoning the drowning victim. Always great to tell someone who’s drowning.)
  3. If you were a vegan you wouldn’t be drowning (yes, I’ve actually heard this).
  4. My sister/friend/coworker/drinking buddy/random stranger on the Internet was drowning once and he/she/they started swimming.
  5. Just start swimming.
  6. Why are you being so dramatic about this? It’s just water. It’s not like you’re dying.
  7. You’re just looking for attention.
  8. You’re no fun when you’re drowning.
  9. If you just got rid of the baggage/think happy thoughts you won’t be drowning anymore.
  10. No one cares that you’re drowning.
  11. Just give it a rest with all this “I’m drowning” stuff already.
  12. You’re not a very good friend with all this drowning stuff. Why don’t you think about someone else for a change?
  13. You just need sex to stop drowning.
  14. You’re not drowning, it’s all in your mind.
  15. No, it’s not fair that you’re drowning. No one ever said life was fair.
  16. Are you done drowning now?
  17. Everyone drowns once in a while, they don’t wallow in it.
  18. But I support drowning victims! I tweet and Facebook about it all the time!
  19. I don’t want to talk about your drowning. That’s all we talk about.
  20. People don’t drown in third world countries. I think it’s all made up by lifejacket and lifeguard companies.
  21. You think you’re drowning. Well, today I….
  22. Have you talked to the lifeguard about this drowning problem?
  23. Fake it till you make it (I hate this one the worst).
  24. You’ll be a better swimmer for having drowned.
  25. Drowning won’t kill you.
  26. If you got out of the lake more, you wouldn’t be drowning.
  27. You’re drowning just to punish me.
  28. Want me to pray for you? or My prayers are with you.
  29. You just don’t want to stop drowning or you’d do something about it.
  30. You have no reason to be drowning. It’s not like you were a soldier or something.

There is so much more I could print here but I’d be here all day if I did. If you have a mental illness or have a loved one with mental illness and want to add to this list, just leave a comment. I welcome them all. The best thing you can say to someone suffering from mental illness is, “I’m here when you need me.”