Do you know how it feels to be hopeless? To feel as if you have nothing to look forward to and nobody to understand the constant raging storm in your heart? I do.
Do you know how it feels to hate yourself and your life and everything around you day after day, month after month, year after year? I do.
I am no stranger to depression (or anxiety). I’ve lost friends who could not understand what I was going through. I have learned the value of empathy. And finally, I have learned to make mental health a priority.
Depression is more common or more talked about than ever before, but we still have people calling victims ‘attention seeking’ and ‘too negative’ and so on. Suicides are around us every day, but we still call victims ‘cowards’.
To the few hundreds of people who will be reading this blog post, I am making an appeal on behalf of all of us – all of us who deal with mental health issues and look for nothing but empathy.
- DO NOT write off a friend, colleague or acquaintance for being ‘too sad’ all the time. Encourage him/her to seek professional help.
- DO NOT call a person who has any mental illness ‘crazy’ because it is a kind of ‘crazy’ that we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy!
- DO NOT ignore a person who talks about committing suicide and make sure someone is with him/her and in the know.
- DO learn to put yourself in a mentally ill person or suicide victim’s mind before passing quick, mean judgment. It takes A LOT of turmoil in the mind to end one’s own life. Think about it.
You can learn empathy even if you haven’t experienced long term or even short term mental illness. It isn’t expensive. Just use your heart.