Danielle has been living with bipolar disorder since 1996. This condition, and others she lives with, affect her life daily. Here, she shares hurtful words her father told her and how comments like this affect her and others living with a similar condition.

Hurtful Words from a Parent

I [am living with] bipolar disorder. I also have borderline personality disorder and severe debilitating anxiety. The anxiety is what will get me stuck in my head a lot.

I will never forget when my dad told me that I just needed to buck up and force myself to be happy. Everyone makes [being happy] sound so easy but for some of us it’s the hardest thing we could possibly overcome in life.

[His comment] made me feel like I was either crazy or exaggerating [about my symptoms].

How Others Can Be More Compassionate

I wish people would be more tolerant and understanding of others, rather than [quickly becoming] judgmental. Don’t discredit our struggle. Our struggles are real. Judgmental or uneducated comments only make me feel even worse about myself than I already do because it feels like someone is invalidating my feelings and what I’m going through.

Advice to Others in Similar Situations

Remember, people will never fully understand what you’re going through, but that is okay. If they are trying to help, then they’re good friends to keep around.

Danielle M.
Orangevale, CA
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, severe anxiety, insomnia

Have you ever received hurtful comments regarding your health? Share your story here.