Lv 4
Robin asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Do you suffer from a mental illness & someone has told you...?

Do you have a mental illness (e.g. depression, bi-polar etc) & has anybody ever told you to 'just pull yourself together'?

I was told this by a trainee psychiatrist once, and regularly by well-meaning friends, although not in those exact words.

Who said it to you, how did you react, and how did it affect you?



Thanks for your answers so far.

It's so frustrating that others have had this experience too!

That psychaitrist incident happened to me a few years ago & it really upset me at the time. But now I know that if I could have 'pulled myself together' wouldn't I have done it by now instead of being on medication for 6 years??

23 Answers

  • happy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    My daughter suffers from a lifelong mental illness. he has recently been assigned a new mental health social worker. The social worker came round to meet her and said to her, "I really don't think there is a lot wrong with you, you're just spoilt". I have now reported this person. How dare someone come and make a judgement that is only going to do harm and cause distress. I think people say these stupid things out of pure ignorance and perhaps fear. They are having to deal with something they don't understand. Fortunately lots of people do understand mental illness and the effects it can have. We mustn't let people get away with making such flippant comments without realising the harm they are causing.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, I have people say it a lot - as if it were that easy! When "friends" say it, I feel even worse as I feel I should be able to just "Pull myself together" and yet I can't. My true friends, however, accept me for what I can do at any given moment and never put too much pressure on me. My family have also been a great source of understanding. I feel so lucky to have them around. Many don't have such good friends and family and I think it makes the illness a lot harder to cope with.

    Source(s): Suffer from mood swings, severe recurrent depression and dissociation.
  • 1 decade ago

    I have heard of Psycologists saying things such as "pull yourself together to a few people I have known. These people should do what they are paid for & not dimiss a person.

    I have suffered with depression for years but ave refused to go to the Doctor. I have also suffered with panic attacks for 8 years, since I was 15, on & off & they have got so bad recently that I haven't left the house in nearly 2 weeks.

    I have made an appointment to see my Dr on Thursday. It's going to be hard to even go there & I just hope he doesn't tell me to pull myself together.

    I want to study to become a Psychologist & hope 1 day I can be qualified & help people such as ourselves.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    (ANS) What is NORMAL?? i.e. normal is a generalization in my opinion, its what most people consider socially or culturally acceptable behavior. Frankly, even this definition remains very vague and pretty meaningless.

    **The same could be said for mental illness, what is a mental illness?? I don't believe in the medical or psychiatric term such & such has a mental illness. No! the person has an imbalance of some kind, but medical labels I don't think are very helpful.

    **The opinions of the medical professionals or psychiatrists are highly subjective value judgments anyway. The use of labels & drugs are often used just to control people or to help them re-conform to social norms.

    **Just because a persons behavior doesn't conform to the social norms doesn't make that person sick or mentally ill. It may just be that this person is a little eccentric perhaps or quirky, or very individualistic.

    **Most people have some emotional pain or distress or problems caused by their past history. When does a persons distress or pain or unhappiness become mental illness?? Especially if the person concerned is not perceived as being a danger to themselves or others around them.

    Kind Regards Ivan

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I too have been told to get on with it. But depression isn't something I asked for and most people don;t understand until it happens to them. Almost everyone will suffer form some sort of depression in their lifetime but most are fortunate to have it last only a short time. Be for a very very long time I kept my feelings to myself this is a no no. It definitely helps to talk and talk as much as possible. I don't mean whine about it but explain how your affected and how you cope with it. Just because it's an illness you can't physically see it doesn't make it any less severe as any illness. Only by telling people can they begin to understand how depression affects our lives and those around us. Good luck and good health for the future.

  • Turtle
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No one has told me to pull it together but my aunt told me that I couldn't live on pills the rest of my life just to get through. I was very hurt by this and then realized that she doesn't understand mental illnesses and is one of those people who think we can control how we feel. If we could we certainly wouldn't feel this way. Now, I just try to ignore people like this because they are undereducated and don't know what they are talking about. A trainee psychiatrist should have never said this to you. They obviously need more training.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i am 18 now and i have had depression from the age of 10. i had to wait until i was 15 before they could put me on anti depressants and i have tried 3 different types since then. i find it very hard to get an appointment with my own doctor, so sometimes i would have to see a different one one time a lady doctor told me to pull myself together, get some exercise and eat a banana everyday! plus she also wouldn't prescribe my tablets that i had been on because she said i didn't need them!i was so upset because i mean when your depressed the last thing you need is someone telling you to get down the gym!i am not overweight either i just need to tone up a bit. so the outcome was i got worse because she wouldnt prescribe my tablets that i was running out of and i felt rubbish in myself. im very used to people saying to me pull yourself together now and its these people that have never had or have come across depression or mental health issues, its these ignorant people that create a stigma for us with mental health problems, but one day in their life they will either have depression or something else, or they will know someone with it and hopefully then they will understand

  • L
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, I`ve been told that by a Psychiatrist, too. It hurts like Hell, but lots of what is done by Psychiatrists hurts.....a lot of them just don`t give a damn...maybe it`s cos they see so much misery / severe illness that they become immune to it. To be honest, I`ve found Psychiatric nurses are more likely to come out with stuff like that....I remember once being told while I was an inpatient with anorexia that "You are the difference between mad and bad".

  • boworl
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I have Post traumatic stress disorder. I think about all the times that people have told me that ...You are older now and you should not let that bother you any more. ....Well if i could shut the movie loop off in my head....i would not need to see a psychiatrist at the veterans hospital that is an ancient dinosaur that i almost went off on when he said that to me. I was about to smack the sh**out of him and see how long it takes him not to think about tnat each time he sees me and just get over it. I was put through more than i can tell no it is not funny that a insensitive jerk says things like that to a mentally impaired soul. They should go tell cancer patients to get over it and the diabetics the same thing. sorry bastards. You can read this book called...i can't get over it //// by aphrodite matsukis. she is the one that let me in on my condition and now i do not take any of those drugs that they give me that do no good any way. I have learned to stay busy and not stop to dive into the thoughts that pervade each day. so no those people that are being insensitive toward you are just ignorant insensitive people that have the mindset of arrogance that society has placed on them. so there take that you jerks that think...just get over it....cry out loud.

  • Sian
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, I have been told this before by lots of different people. Most mean well enough, they just don't understand mental illness but it still gets annoying. The worst was a Dr who instead of referring me for counselling like I asked just gave me some tablets and told me I should just get over it. My ex fiance used to ask me if I couldn't 'just cheer up' for a while whenever we went to see his family as he didn't want them to have to 'deal with me.' The most annoying for me though is a few of my friends who have told me that they don't believe in depression. I don't even know what to say to that...

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