There’s been such sad news lately and it always highlights the conversation that needs to be had about mental illness. While that’s a great thing, there’s a risk that people self diagnosis or fall into a ‘victim’ or ‘hopeless’ trap. Particularly if they paint their feeling with the same brush of the person they’ve read about and think it’s one of the same. As I’ve mentioned before, sadness is NOT depression and worry is NOT always an anxiety disorder. Factors surrounding someone’s will (or lack of) for life vary greatly and cannot be compared. Any comparison can be stifling.
We are a culture of victim and blame.
I was once told that depression and anxiety sufferers are usually the least self-responsible people. They’re responsible for everyone else but themselves, this explains why they suffer.
I know I was a real victim for a long time. I would hide behind ‘it’s not fair... this is not me... I’m not good enough... I can’t change...I’m not strong.” With these statements I gave myself permission to do...absolutely nothing! Not seek help, not be self aware, not try to look at things differently and not be self-responsible.
If acceptance is the first key to recovery, then empathy is on the same key chain. This is not to be confused with sympathy or victim mentality. Empathy is understanding your situation or feelings. And using this to move forward. Sympathy however comes with sense of pity and a lack of self-responsibility because it implies that the situation is beyond your control.
It’s easy for us to fall into the victim-self and blame our spouse, our job, our parents or the prime minister! (We shouldn’t blame ourselves either!) These things may need addressing, but if we continually do this then we take away our power and hand it over to the mental illness on a silver platter.
Going back to the first point; while reading of these suicides is incredibly sad, we need to pull ourselves out of the victim and hopeless state and believe that there is light, truth and hope in seeking help. Not being passive and leaving our reality to chance or letting our feelings dictate our life. And certainly not be drawn into a false idea of hopelessness about it all. 🌺