Have a Little Compassion, Will Ya

There are moments in time when people enter our lives, and have huge impacts on us. I always strive to ignore the people who bring more negativity to me because I create enough of my own.

Sue, over at It Goes On, is writing a book about depression. She has asked if any would like to share our stories. Writing about depression has been a focus of mine because I have lived with it my entire life.

I grew up among many family members suffering from depression of various diagnoses. I know what depression looks, and feels like. I know what it does to the family dynamic.

While taking notes for my response to Sue,Β I discovered that my base mental illness is anxiety, which leads to depression for me.

Sue is one of those who have had an impact on my life. Who knows, I may learn to control my phobia of flying, hop in a tin tube, fly across the vast ocean, and have what she would call a cuppa.

I have much to say about anxiety, but you’ll have to read Sue’s book if interested in this aspect of mental illness.

Weeks ago, while reading another blog, I followed an ugly interaction between followers of the blogger. Actually, it was one of the worst conversations I have seen on WordPress. It was a bit Facebook-ish. A person putting in their two cents, in response to a very negative comment made by another to the author of the blog asked…ARE YOU OFF YOUR MEDS?

They didn’t use all caps, but that is how it appeared to me. In fact, if I could type this with a blinking neon light, that is seriously how I viewed it. That question had the same impact as a gut punch.

At that moment, I learned a very important lesson.

We can speak, stand upon a soapbox, shake our fists in the air, stomp our feet, or write blog post after blog post, enlightening others to what living with depression is like. It never seems to make much of an impact.

I have believed the stigma was due to a lack of information, and we should speak more about mental illness.

The stigma doesn’t come from ignorance, it comes from a lack of compassion.

We can keep talking, to inform others how real the struggle of living with depression is— maybe they’ll learn something.

However, we can’t teach others to be compassionate.

Will it stop me from talking about depression or anxiety?



About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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17 Responses to Have a Little Compassion, Will Ya

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    “It never seems to make much of an impact.” Don’t believe that and try to stop that kind of negative talk to yourself. When we say these things to ourselves, we believe it…
    Keep talking about it, because you ARE making an impact. We all are, because the more we talk about it, the more common the conversations will be.

  2. aviets says:

    Wow, April, you make a very profound point. I’ve always felt that a HUGE part of what’s wrong with this world derives from lack of compassion and/or empathy. I don’t have to have experienced all the horrible things that happen to people, but if I have compassion and empathy, that goes a very long way toward understanding and solving problems. -Amy

    • April says:

      I often wonder how some people sleep at night after making this kind of random statement about anything sensitive to others. Lung cancer is another stigma that nobody wants to talk about. I notice comments made in poor taste online than I do in real life, but if we listen, there are just as many speaking through their lack of compassion–or empathy.

  3. bmagpub says:

    So few people really understand depression and its effects. I am only partially understanding – however I know it is real, and it needs to be met with understanding and patience – and compassion. Luckily in New Zealand it is becoming more spoken about. One of “our” national sporting heroes recently spoke out about depression, and made some TV ads about depression. For this service, and his bravery in admitting to this publically and doing somehting about it, and for the work he does in this area, he was made a Knight, and is now Sir John Kirwan.

    Here is one of his ads https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofc62mLD-UA.

    For me, I think it helps people understand a little more, and therefore lets them be a little compassionate.

    Hope your Easter is going well. Brett. πŸ˜€

    • April says:

      Maybe, if there are enough faces attached to the illness, more will recognize that it is real. Many would be surprised at how many people they may work with, the grocery checker at the store, your neighbor—they suffer in silence.

      Easter is great! We are blessed with a beautiful sunny day!

  4. suzjones says:

    Never stop talking and writing April. Your words are not only helping you, they are helping others. You are a treasure to those in your life. Hugs to you my dear. πŸ™‚

  5. I think you’re on to something here April. A lack of compassion would be more likely a reason to be insensitive and down right cruel.

    • April says:

      I think if all people would just stop for a second and try and “imagine” themselves in the shoes of another, they would be more compassionate. Whether it’s depression, a disability, political affiliation, or religious beliefs. We all travel our own paths, and they all differ. We may not completely understand why others do what they do, or act they way they act, but we can recognize we all have our struggles in one way or another. We don’t have to understand.

  6. Tracy says:

    Yes it does! Keep talking about it and maybe it will help breed more compassion!!

  7. Gallivanta says:

    Gosh, don’t stop talking about it. Compassion, compassion, compassion……you hit the nail on the head.

  8. ittymac says:

    There are a lot of arrogant people whose ability to relate to others in empathy is completely missing. I personally believe these folks are afraid to look too closely at themselves! Scaredy-cats. 😊

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