“I just don’t understand.”
Those words might seem trivial, but when someone is honest about not understanding my illness, it is refreshing. So often, people try to belittle my depression, anxiety, or other mental health problem by reducing it to something they can understand. “We all have anxiety.” “I sometimes don’t like how I look either.” “No one is happy all of the time.
These sayings might be true, but they can reduce the struggle that millions of people face daily. Instead, sometimes the best option is to simply listen and admit that you do not understand what someone is going through despite your love for them.
This video really touched me. For one thing, it shows the love of a family and how everyone close to someone who commits suicide is affected. Also, it illustrates the agony of mental illness and lack of understanding about it.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Thus, I easily forget how strange my thinking seems to others. My mental health problems do not make me a freak. However, realizing that my feelings and thoughts are abnormal can actually be helpful. Not everyone feels the urge to kill themselves while driving; not everyone cringes with fear whenever a stranger passes by; not everyone feels like they are slipping into a dark pit. The reality of these miseries in my life does not mean that others understand why I do what I do.
Honestly, none of us can fully understand others. We can try to empathize and relate to certain situations. Being humble enough to listen instead of assuming that we know best is a difficult skill but important if you want to care for people. I fail to do this all to often. Thus, I am going to work on thinking before stating that “I understand.” Instead, my response will be “Help me to understand that” followed by listening to my friend or family member.