When people forget to be kind

The hardest thing about mental illness is the isolation, the feeling that you are on your own despite being surrounded by other people. It’s a horrific feeling and one that only serves to pull you into the abyss.

Yet, you go on with daily life, smiling, laughing and being yourself, getting through each day as best you can. Others around you mostly haven’t a clue of what’s going on in your head and in the days of instant contact in this digital world, we are increasingly living in our own bubbles of reality.

I’ve heard from a few bloggers this week about their experience of dealing with people who seem to act with no humanity or compassion at all. One lady was trolled publicly and by personal messages threatening actual body harm to her for her views on a Celeb Big Brother thread. Have a look at Rachel’s story here in full as it is shocking.

Another lady I’m getting to know, Mandy, writes a life blog and has done for several years. She has mental health issues, which she talks about in her blog. In the link, she tells of being brought to tears just by people venturing their opinion but in the most demeaning way. You can see the impact in her post here and it is powerful writing about her own experience.

A couple of single mothers I know hear criticism about their lives, yet no-one knows the issues they face, especially with depression and anxiety knocking on the door. Mothers doing their best in the hardest of circumstances, winning but wounded.

As bloggers, we do tend to put ourselves out there, our lives laid bare for all to see, that much is true. Why do people then feel it necessary to be unkind, especially to someone they know has health issues? Would you walk up to someone in the street recovering from a life threatening illness or operation and push them around?

So why is it that people feel it is acceptable to bully others via cyber space?

We never know what others are going through, why they behave in the way they do or if that smile is fake or not.

Cases in point:

A friend, a police officer with PTSD that I was speaking with yesterday is going through the most difficult time, personally and professionally. Strong with incredible wit online, the last person you would suspect of issues, but near in tears with me talking about the experience which has left scars.

Another friend, incredibly robust and funny online presence, again a police officer, has the most vicious attacks every day by social media. They too suffer from PTSD and have good days, bad days.

The person I talked about stacking logs up to get to the tree branch to commit suicide, is the most wonderfully strong, funny and capable person I know. Life chucked a few lemons in the past few years, so now there is limoncello and lemon meringue pie aplenty, such is the tremendous attitude they have. Yet, others attack on line, voicing opinions and then launching missiles when their views are challenged. Sometimes very personal in nature and I know it hurts very deeply.

Fact is that we don’t know what people are going through daily, struggling through personal battles unseen to everyone else. It’s human to react, get riled with people or even sometimes to pick a fight because that’s how we feel. Don’t forget to have empathy and state your opinion without anger or insult. It is a reflection of you, after all.

Be kind. Always. Even to yourself.


14 thoughts on “When people forget to be kind

  1. People can be very cruel and seem to think that they know best in how to treat/cure mental illness, must though have never been through it. Each person is different and instead of patronising us maybe just listening and trying to see it from our point of view would help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nobody can understand unless they have been through it. That doesn’t mean they can’t have empathy. It gives me no pleasure to see the change of opinion from someone who thinks depression/anxiety is a weakness to them then suffering themselves. But it’s certainly a lesson to them.
    I’ve battled depression every day since my teens. There have been crashing depths which have lasted for months at a time and almost killed me. There’s been the day to day level through which I’ve enjoyed a professional work life and a good social life. It’s all been exhausting. It’s never for one moment held any element of choice. I’m by nature an optimistic and happy person. An odd contradiction 🙂
    Thanks for another spot on blog R x


    1. You are optimistic and happy, as well as having menhealth issues. You are a happy and upbeat, but online we see the ignorance of the condition, as well as people being totally unkind to others, bullying and vicious because they have been challenged on their views.
      That is not critical thinking – take a view and defend with your life. Accept there are other views, challenge your thinking and if you find you agree more with a differing view, accept it.
      Any other way is ignorance.
      Good health and happiness to you, Brawbird xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Still too many people totally ignorant to mental illness and seem to think people are just “feeling down”
    I didn’t understand it myself until “the black dog” came to stay with me. I freely admit that I used to work with a lady that had panic attacks and always thought it was garbage….until my own anxiety disorder started and I realised just how scary and dehabilitating it is. Now I recognise the signs in others and I’m always happy to talk to anyone I feel may be suffering as a friendly ear is sometimes all that’s needed to brink someone back from the brink.
    Keep up the good work fellow baldy man

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good man, Allan.
      You need to have that understanding of the signs. One you know, then you can go with the punches to make it easier, slow the breathing, calm the mind but fighting tends to make it worse.
      Anxiety and depression together are monsters, we need understanding and to be kind to ourselves.
      Then we might be kind to others who need it too.


    2. You’re so right. It’s just that acknowledgement, that recognition. I make a point of doing it in my professional like with mental health clients because I vividly recall the first time someone gave me that acknowledgment – “that must have been hard” and what it felt like. I turned a corner that day. And showing people their strengths – because there’s always something and the sufferer won’t see it themself.


  4. Richard the focus of mental health practice now is ‘recovery’. Your blogs and discussions would be great brought together in some format as time goes on. People have their stories of what it’s like, how it started, how they got through it. With you at the helm I’m sure it’d make for a greatly positive collation based around the general ethos of your blog x


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