It really doesn’t take much compassion to realize that we all have off days. When we feel like crap. We’re tired and find it hard to focus on our duties of the day. Or we have a stack of bills and worries that we’re trying to juggle, and barely scraping thru.
We all feel alone and isolated at times and find it hard to reach out. We have times when loving and people-ing are hard.
We all also have been hurt by something in our past. And some days, it’s harder than others to not be absorbed by that hurt. To be thinking of the person who hurt us and give them supernatural powers in our minds.
We all have had those moments when a thought or a song gets stuck in our heads, like an ear worm and we can’t get rid of it.
Those are the basis of a lot of mental health issues. A clouded head full of disorganized thoughts and feelings, till you get overwhelmed and need someone or something to help you sort thru it all.
So why do we have such a hard time showing empathy to those who have a mental illness?
Because back in time, it was a dirty secret. It was a shame. Back in the day of superstition. When was that day? Sadly, it still goes on.
We seem to expect people to cope, no matter what. But we all have bad days. Every human being does. And it’s grandiosity to think it can’t be you. So how do you want to be treated if you are the one who needs help?
Being mentally ill is not contagious.
Most people with mental health issues are just struggling to cope with their day. Very few are a threat to you. It’s more likely they’d be a threat to themselves than you.
They might be a bit scattered. A bit tired. Their words might jumble up, like a word salad. They might have gait issues and walk a bit odd. They might count things and do the same thing over and over again. They might be a bit childish or moody. They might clean obsessively or live in squalor. They might be homeless. They might have a head full of noise, voices I call K=FUCK radio. They are probably more scared of you, than you are of them.
What they need is support and understanding. I just wish that’s what they got.
Do you think any less of a person who has a broken leg or arm? Do you expect someone with an broken arm to keep lifting things? Do you expect a person with a broken leg to keep walking or running? If you expect someone with a mental health issue to behave exactly as you do, on a good day, then it’s you who has the problem. Not them. They’re just having a bad day and struggling a bit. Let’s help, shall we?