I’ve been contending with bipolar symptoms for over two decades, and along the way I’ve heard just a ton of brainless platitudes that are the equivalent of vomiting rainbows.

Seeing as I’m embarking on a new voyage in my recovery journey (PTSD episodes resultant of being triggered by a woman who likes to scream at me and jab me in the chest, tapping into the artifacts of an omni-abusive marriage), and seeing as I’m already mopping up after rainbows, it’s time to compile a new list of crap people keep telling me to “help me feel better”. It’s adorable.

I’m knicking a paragraph from my prior article “Things you really shouldn’t say to someone experiencing the symptoms of major depression” because it’s so germane to the severity, reality, and seriousness of PTSD.

Peers, this list will be far too familiar. Muggles, please remember that no one chooses to have (PTSD). The list will make a lot more sense that way, and it’ll shed some light on why these aren’t the best things to say to someone experiencing (PTSD symptoms), no matter how pure the intent.

I mean, c’mon. Who would choose to have (PTSD)? I’d much rather choose to have a magnetic colon in the shovel & rake aisle of Home Depot.

Got it straight? Cool beans. Any questions? Strap on your telemarks. Permanecer sentados, por favor. Without further delay, I present unto ye…

Thing You Don’t Say
Someone Experiencing PTSD Symptoms

– Why are you letting her have so much power over you?
– It’s really not that big of a thing.
– Do something to keep your mind occupied.
– Just put it out of your mind.
– Shouldn’t you be better by now?
– Look, I had a crappy marriage, too. I don’t let it get to me, though.
– You don’t need meds. A good bath with a cup of chamomile tea keeps me from getting nightmares.
– These new medications you’re taking are making things worse.
– Suck it up, dude.
– You’re only doing this for attention.
– You’re taking advantage of all of this just to …
– I don’t understand how a simple little thing like getting yelled at and poked is causing you so much trouble. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
– You’re completely blowing this out of proportion.
– Geesh, if it isn’t bipolar now it’s PTSD. Pick an illness, not all of them.

– I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. (I like this one)

– (No reply to emails, phone calls, etc.) (I don’t like this one… it makes things worse for me)
– Get a grip on yourself.
– Yawn.
– Have you tried not letting this get to you?
– You need to … (I don’t like this one)
– You should … (This one sucks, too)
– You’re pathetic.
– If you wouldn’t let it get to you, you wouldn’t be going through this.
– It’s not like you were blown up in Iraq.
– If this is just a symptom of bipolar, shouldn’t your bipolar meds work on this? (My PTSD is not a symptom of bipolar, as an information blurb)
– Getting better sleep will make this go away.
– Really? That’s it?
– You’re ruining a good woman’s name just because you can’t control your emotions.
– I like to watch TV when I’m stressed.
– So PTSD is just anxiety.
– You’re despicable, saddening, and angering. (This comes from someone who is an “expert provider” for peers with PTSD… I know, it’s hilarious, right? An article of its own for another time.)
– Christ, are you ever going to feel better?
– You need a vacation.
– This will only affect you if you allow it to affect you.
– What’s so stressful about that?
– I’m tired of you coming to me with all your “disorders”… I’m starting to think you’re making it all up.
– You don’t sleep, the symptoms get worse. So, work on getting sleep and the symptoms will go away. Simple.
– Have you tried acupuncture? (ed. note: Artificial holes in my body are a slight against God)
– Go talk it out.
– Festering in your self-pity again?
– Two words: High colonic.
– Don’t you dare make a cat joke, Steve! (fair enough)
– I carry a stress ball in my purse. When I get worked up I squeeze the ball and all my problems go away.
– So what’s so stressful about that?
– I care for you, but you always make mountains out of molehills.
– It’s hard being around you when you’re like this.
– You’re pushing everyone away.

More soon… I’m sure I’ll get more rainbows vomiting on me on this new component of my recovery journey.