A four-letter word that has the potential of impacting lives for ever. People who live with mental illnesses often hear this word beign said to them.
“its just one of those days.”
“Its just a little bit of sadness.”
“You just need to go out more.”
“Just get over it already.”
While all these sentences perpetuate the stigma around mental health, the one word that had a lot of impact on me was “JUST”. It felt like people didn’t take my problem seriously enough. It felt as if my thoughts about dying were ‘just’ an inconvenience to an otherwise great world.
Then there were times when I compared my plight to those less well-off than me. “I am just suicidal. There are people who don’t have food to eat everyday.”
I feel that while there are many statements/phrases that harm people dealing with emotional problems, just is one word that intensifies all the pain.
I try to avoid the word as often as possible. It belittles other people’s thoughts and emotions. It invalidates their feelings covertly. That is one of the worst kinds of invalidation there is.
Things are hardly ever ‘just’ like any other day.
Leaving out just one word from our daily dictionary could help people feel much better about themselves.