In order to limit the exposure and transmission of Covid-19, PTI will be exclusively doing tele-psychiatry (virtual) visits. You will still have your appointment, you will just have to do it with our Virtual Psych Network (VPN™). Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

What Not To Say About Mental Illness


How to help those with mental illness.

Amidst the holiday hustle we want to make a concerted effort to remember that the way in which we communicate with others can have a big impact on them.  We also want to remember that individuals who combat mental illness can have a more difficult time during the holidays.  Chances are, whether you are aware of it or not, you will probably encounter someone who is facing some form of mental health issue within your family and community connections. 

Sometimes we don’t really know what to say or how to best be present with others, especially those who have a vastly different life experience than ourselves.  Here’s some reminders of things that are not always helpful to say in conversation with those who experience mental health struggles:

  1. “Try Harder.”  This along with “just do it anyway” can be some of the things that people want to hear the least.  Although, there is some merit to doing things when you don’t feel like it, with mental illness, it’s a much more complex tangle of motivation and emotions to sort through.

  1. “It’s all in your head.”  Perhaps well intentioned but misses the mark with regard to helping individuals feel powerful.  Dealing with mental illness often leads to the lack of perceived power and control over one’s own life.  Instead, offer encouragement in the form of the person’s contributions that they already are making towards their own life and their relationships.

  1. “There’s always someone worse off.”  This piece of encouragement works for some but not for others.  Instead, try offering “you’re not alone.”  Reminding people that they have people who care about them regardless of their mental and emotional state is a big deal.  Genuine connections are built, knowing they will always have someone that values them and considers them worthy of love.

  1. “Life isn’t fair.”  Well, it’s true, it isn’t fair to any of us.  To some, it’s more fair than others and the reminder of this can be more disempowering than helpful.  Instead, continue to offer support in the form of just being present and willing to accept them as they are rather than reinforcing their difference.

Whether you or one of your loved ones struggle with mental illness, we want to acknowledge that relationships are hard and there are resources, both online and here at PTI to help.  As we approach the new year, the PTI family wants to wish each of our residents of the great state of Louisiana the best.  If you or a loved one need help, please reach out to us today.  We have outstanding staff and mental health providers on board and have offices in the Covington /Northshore area as well as in Baton Rouge.  If there’s anything we can do to serve you better and to help raise awareness for mental health, we’re here to help and we’re ready to start 2015 with a full head of steam.

Make An