View profile

Avoid Mental Health Advice, Do This

This is a strange one, considering what I write about. I'm a random guy writing about mental health o
Avoid Mental Health Advice, Do This
This is a strange one, considering what I write about.
I’m a random guy writing about mental health online and sharing my tips and thoughts.
So it might seem odd that I’m telling you to be careful about accepting mental health advice.
But there’s a reason I’m putting out this warning.
Because there’s something better than advice.
And I want you to know about it.

Anyone Can Give Mental Health Advice
Let’s be real. It’s 2020. Most of the world has access to the Internet.
While this is a wonderful thing, it also gives everyone a platform, a huge stage to spew anything and everything to anyone who will listen.
And that includes giving advice, even when people don’t ask for it.
You see, I think of advice as unexpected instructions. When I’m not asking for guidance, and people tell me how I should live my life, that’s advice.
And with mental health, that’s really dangerous. Everyone has an idea about what’s wrong with you.
Not getting enough sleep? Maybe you’re depressed and you should take sleeping pills.
Feeling bloated? Oh, that’s definitely your anxiety and you need to learn to calm down.
Thanks, Karen.
This is the kind of thing that I really try to stay away from online.
Even though I’m a trained social worker, and even though people come to me often with questions, I really, really try to avoid giving advice.
In fact, I was very intentional about how I created this newsletter and framed its meaning for the world.
This is a newsletter about finding common ground and about sharing wisdom that I’ve found helpful. It’s not about me knowing what’s best for anyone who will listen to me.
I know you know your life best, and I expect you to know if something I share will be helpful or not.
And that’s the whole point.
You don’t need advice because you already have the answers you need.
But sometimes it’s helpful to have someone who’s been there to help you unearth those answers from the dirt and muck that’s built up over the years in your heart and mind.
How to Identify Mental Health Guidance
This brings me to the core of my message.
Mental health advice is bad. If you’re following me on this, I think you’re going to like where we’re heading next.
Ready for the big epiphany I discovered?
Here it is:
The only method I’ve ever found that works in successfully changing my own life is to come across the answer in my own way.
I need to be receptive to the change. I need to want to change.
Here are a few ways to identify when you’ve found mental health guidance, not advice–when you’ve found a collective pool of wisdom that you can dip into and draw from it what you need.
The Information Source is Not Pushy
Does this person, group, entity, etc. let you draw your own conclusions? Do they value what you have to say?
Real change happens because both parties are changed in the process. I get just as much–if not more–from my readers than I give. It’s a wonderful thing.
They’ve Been Where You Want to Go
Is someone telling you how to do something but they’ve never actually done it themselves? I’m not saying they have to have done the exact same thing down to every last detail. I’m saying, have they ever been in a situation that is even remotely close to what you’re struggling with?
If not, that’s a big warning sign, and you’re most likely venturing into the Land of Bad Advice.
Look for people who’ve walked the walk and emerged wiser and softer around the edges. If a person has a chip on their shoulder and is taking out their issues on you, that’s a sign that they’re still in the thick of it and need to do their own work before they help others.
Avoid the Needlessly Complicated
The best kind of mental health guidance is the guidance that just makes sense. Now, this can sound a bit vague, so just hang with me for a second.
Have you ever been around a person who knows just the way to fix your entire life? A person who says that all you need to do is go to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and have just the right kind of smoothie every morning and make sure that you cut out all bad energy while also journaling two times a day?
I’m sorry, maybe that works for Sir Mentally Healthy, but it doesn’t address the core principles of how you’re even supposed to get started with all that.
Someone who’s been there should know how to break down whatever they’re teaching into core principles. Mental health advice doesn’t do that. Mental health advice comes across as a esoteric lecture and floats right over the head.
Mental health guidance, on the other hand, is offered up to be accepted by whomever needs it.
Guidance is gentle and obvious. Advice is harsh and needlessly complicated.
Mental Health Advice / Mental Health Guidance
Now you know the difference between mental health advice and mental health guidance.
It’s up to you to choose what’s better for you.
If I’ve done my job, I’ve hopefully opened your mind to the possibility that you know a whole lot more than you think.
There were times that I may have ventured into advice mode here, and I’ll probably do it again. I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes.
But at the end of the day, I want what’s best for you.
I’ve known my fair share of emotional pain, and I want as many people as possible to avoid what I’ve been through.
Stick to the guidance track in life, and you’ll be alright.
I hope you enjoyed this and that it broadened your mind. Please do let me know if I ever come across the wrong way. I write these issues so that subscribers can better their lives by taking what they learn and running with it. Thanks for being here.

Have a good day,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $10 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's three weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and articles. And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

So I decided to come up with something I wanted to read.

This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

"Encouragement from someone who has “been there” when it comes to mental health struggles. Comes in the form of stories and simple, actionable tips for reframing and working with - and through - your issues. One of the few newsletters that has survived my ruthless inbox decluttering sprees. Highly recommended!" - Kelila

"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

I take my no-spam policy very seriously. I consider it a mental health obligation to not abuse your trust.

Newsletter articles sent on Monday and Wednesday.

Members receive detailed information from those articles on Tuesday and Thursday AND an exclusive Friday email as well.

You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT