Compassion for Those Who Love People with Mental Illness

Rarely, if ever, do people accuse me of having a lack of compassion for people with a mental illness. This is probably because I am a person with a mental illness so I kind of know where other mentally ill people are coming from.

Nevertheless, this is exactly what one commenter recently did:

This is a tragic post because the writer is incapable of honoring the struggle of a human being who is in pain. Rather than muster empathy, compassion and problem-solving, she shuts out the people who need her most. There is something wrong with America when families send their loved ones to prison or institutions when what they need most is the love and support of their community.

The commenter is referring to a post wherein I suggested that sometimes the right thing to do is to say goodbye to a person with a mental illness. Particularly in cases where a person is abusive and refuses to get help, sometimes walking away is the only thing left to do in order to protect your own life. I stand by this sentiment.

Compassion, Empathy and Problem-Solving

And for the record, I’m all for employing empathy, compassion and problem-solving in all aspects of life and of course when dealing with a mental illness. That’s why I’ve written about helping people with a mental illness and telling someone they have a mental illness and convincing someone to get help with a mental illness.But empathy, compassion and problem-solving have limits. None of us is superhuman. And people with a mental illness aren‘t the only ones deserving of compassion.

 
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