CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness
(c)2016 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Everyone knows this election in the U.S. was divisive. Extremists and moderates alike have been afraid, and fear leads to anger. Accusations, and even acceptance of the intolerable unmasked mass terror that the other side (or either side) may win.
Today some people are traumatized by all the fear-mongering, splits in family and friend relationships, a newfound or refueled mistrust of the next door neighbor, and many are scared.
Many are down and sad. For people with mental illness, this election may have been a trigger. Stress levels are high. I know personally 2 people whose symptoms have worsened into dysfunction because of the results.
Will we talk about that side to things? Can we discuss the effects on mental health? The election is not the only divide in this country.
Since becoming vocal about my struggles with major depression, a hard lesson is it‘s too late for me to limit who I trust with this information. One person learned the title of my first book (Called to Live: A Chronicle of Recovery After Attempted Suicide), turned, and walked away mumbling, “I don’t like to read.” That friendship was over. Another appeared to take pleasure in being the one in the know, and so repeatedly told people in our social circle that I was “too sick,” and a “nutjob.” Interestingly, that was the same social circle where people seemed to avoid interacting with me.
Does this sound anything like the presidential election of 2016?
My message, and that of thousands of voices in the mental health advocacy arena, is that contact without judgment is the most precious and priceless and helpful act anyone can do for a person struggling with mental illness. So what if they cannot respond the way you like? So what?
This morning, a search on Google brought a desperate person to my website. The search was, “cant get out of bed, im depressed”. Maybe this person was affected by the election.
They found my post titled almost the same words, “I’m Depressed and Can’t Get Out of Bed. What Am I to Do?” At the bottom of that post is a link to a page headlined, “Gain a Mindset of Hope.” Both articles were read today – presumably by the one who did the search.
This is why, despite painful consequences, I am grateful God pushed me to go public. As for those people who choose to remain distant or unaware, I pray they listen and grow.
Let’s talk. People who die by suicide no longer have hope. The purposes God had for them, done. I want to help catch them as they fall. Always the Fight Ministries is here to help combat stigma, bridge the divide, and offer hope to all who struggle. I weep with those who weep, and rejoice when they discover joy.*
Today’s Helpful Word
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.
*To join in this effort, please pray for Always the Fight Ministries, or give the book by the same title to a person you love, or donate your time. God bless, Nancy