You Can’t Help People Who Don’t Want to be Helped

You can’t help someone who isn’t ready to be helped and isn’t ready to step up.

This is a hard lesson I’ve had to learn over the years. I still struggle with it and it stings to “give up” on someone. It’s not really giving up but I can’t keep using all my mental strength trying to guide someone the right way.

Not that I should be the one to help anyone get their shit together. I’m broken myself. Sometimes I think that’s why I care so much. If I can help someone else, I can heal too.

Does that make me selfish? We’re all a little bit selfish from time to time. It’s like that episode of Friends where Joey tries to prove to Pheobe that there are completely genuine actions without selfish reasoning. He failed.

In my romantic relationships or my close friendships, I’ve always tried to fix things for the people I love. I’ve tried to lend them a hand, whether it’s loaning them money or tough love about them getting their shit together.

This has led to very toxic relationships, particularly in my romantic life. I always dated men with just as many issues (if not more) than myself.

I’d try to “fix” them. I thought love could fix anything. Thanks, Disney.

But the reality is you can’t fix anyone, they have to do that themselves. You can’t help them if they don’t want help.

You can’t lead them to sobriety if they don’t believe they have a problem. Mostly, they don’t’ realize there’s trauma leading them to a bottle or to a glass pipe or a needle.

It’s easier, in the beginning, to pretend you’re okay and move along. I know from experience. For years, I pretended I was okay because even when I did come forward about my pain, I was shot down.

Ignoring that pain is only a temporary bandaid. That trauma, that anger, that resentment will take over. It will sneak up on you and you won’t realize it has control of you.

For once, I took a step back from trying to help someone. It doesn’t mean I don’t love this person any less. Quite the opposite.

When they would act out their trauma under the influence, I’d be triggered. All the behaviors and the pain mirrored my mine. I didn’t want to feel it but my empathy took over.

I tried compassion. I tried tough love.

But they’re not ready to step up. So, what can I do?

I’d love to hear your opinions or experiences with helping people who aren’t ready to be helped. Drop me a comment, lovely people.

As always, love you guys!

Casey Elizabeth Dennis

New YouTube video. It’s just on new scientific research regarding mental illness and genes and a few other articles that I just read.

Let me know what you’d love to see in a mental health channel. I want your all your opinions!


18 thoughts on “You Can’t Help People Who Don’t Want to be Helped”

  1. Casey, I couldn’t agree with you more. My brother is one of those people who knows best.
    He’s an alcoholic with mental health issues as well. Everyone in my family, including all his friends have tried to help him… But, nope.
    He has burned so many bridges that everyone is fed up.
    He now lives in a boarding house. Work? If he earns anything, it’s sent on booze.
    I have my own issues to cope with and can’t be dragged down in his dram anymore. It was a harsh decision, but I had to cut ties with him.

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  2. One of the problems is that people struggling with serious mental health problems simply can’t help themselves. My depression has often made me neglect even basic things like brushing my teeth or showering. Having said that, there has to be at least a will to not waste away. If this isn’t present, you really can’t help fix anything. As far as toxic relationships are concerned, walk away quickly. They drain you emotionally and even affect your physical health. But here’s a paradox: I believe that only people who’ve suffered can understand a partner with mental illness. I might be wrong though. This is such an honest post Casey.

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    1. I wish I would have ran from toxic relationships in my past. I’m lucky now & in a healthy relationship. But before I dated men who were serious drug addicts. Don’t get me wrong, I did drugs as well. But the one would steal rent money for his habit. He would talk down to me. I really believe he had NPD. Recently, I was trying to help a really good friend (he’s like a brother) but he has no desire to pull himself out of his darkness. I don’t know what else to do for him. But I know what you mean about needing help. When I go through depression, I don’t get out of bed or bath. I just lay in bed all day watching YouTube videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YouTube videos. Yeah. Tell me about it! I spend hours on the React channel or watch silly pranks. I don’t even watch something intelligent when I’m low. You can’t do much for him right now. You can only hope that he comes around. Sometimes people surprise us.

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  3. So true that if people don’t want to hear it then it’s like our voices are just using energy without getting anywhere… it can be frustrating… but hopefully in time they start to understand xx

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  4. the best thing you can do is, walk away! no point in you getting triggered! you cant help anyone when your in a triggered state! some people refuse help! And thats on them, not you!

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