Have you ever met someone who has a terrible dress sense?
Maybe a friend, relation, colleague or neighbor? And you are very sure it’s not about money, after all, with little money you can look good if you want to. Bend down select don finish?
You have tried telling them but they never listen. You offer to take them shopping and you would even be more amused at the horrible choices they make (in the face of abundance of great choices).
The more you try to encourage them to improve their taste in style, the more you risk offending them. If you become too pushy, they push back.
You hand them some (good) cloths,overtime, you realize that they never wear them. Few times they try, an onlooker would easily notice their discomfort.
Though they might look great in everyone’s eyes and people would happily compliment the change, but their uneasiness would not be hard to hide. They throw off the compliments, after all they do not understand the head and tail of it. Once they go back to their usual style, you see how “at home” they’d be with it.
You talk and talk and get tired. For the fear of losing the person, you just let it be. Onlookers who mock and make jest even get tired as well. They simply accept it’s the fellow’s (life)style and learn not to expect better.
You know what they say, “you are addressed the way you dress”. So a terrible dress sense may lead to minimal social contact and interaction, few friends, negative perception by others, little regard or outright disregard by people in their circle, etc. This can cost such a person social opportunities and romantic relationships.
They feel all these, but they are not able to understand or do not believe it has something to do with the way they dress, even if you expressly point it out.
Well, not that I’m trying to compare bad fashion taste with mental disorders, but the absurdity of indifference towards ones own behavioural problems in the face of or contrary to the observation of others is pretty much the same.
When it comes to mental conditions, people hardly “see” their problems. Who would blame them? After all, our eyes do not look upon us, but unto others.
This is distressing for people around them as others see things they cannot and find it difficult accepting what they know is not the best of the person.
No, it’s not “who they are”, it’s a problem that can be solved, no matter how long lasting. Everyone can learn. Everyone can change. Maybe long after the overhaul of the “wardrobe,” they look back and see what everyone saw then.
Help people make the change you know they need.
Encourage them to seek treatment.
Join MANI today, learn more about mental health today, and how you can educate more people on mental health and mental illnesses.
-Arua Ezinne Celine