Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
A woman grew depressed. She was unhappy because she was being violently abused at home by a husband she had thought was her friend. Over the course of their marriage she had gone from an outgoing and successful businesswoman to a frightened, unemployed, and suicidal victim. One August, she attempted suicide and nearly died.
Upon release from the medical ward, she was transferred to a nearby mental health clinic. Her spirit was crushed. She felt lonely and hopeless. Still, she longed for a visitor or two.
None came. Much later, she found out her husband had told people not to go to her, claiming she needed solitude. Truth is, he was afraid she would tell on him.
Late in her stay, one visitor her husband had failed to reach showed up to check on her. The depressed woman heard how much she is valued and loved, and her friend asked her to stay alive. She was soon discharged, armed with connections and support. Eventually, with the help of these friends, she was able to escape her terrible marriage.
Eight months later…
Another woman grew depressed. Her complicated circumstances had become overwhelming. For several months she had maintained a false sense of control over her emotions. She became increasingly quiet, withdrawn, and disinterested in work or socializing. In her mind, suicidal thoughts were starting to make sense, and she began behaving recklessly.
Having been through this before, she recognized the signs of a severe major depression relapse. Yet in her increasingly disturbed rationale, she believed she had only to hold out a little longer and everything would be alright. Or, she reasoned, death would be acceptable too.
One evening, two friends talked with her about these changes in her mood. They found her answers unsatisfactory, and proceeded to make their intentions clear. If she did not increase her level of mental health care, they would call 9.1.1 and have her hospitalized.
She heard how much others value and love her, and understood her friends were asking her to stay alive. The next day she made arrangements to begin intensive outpatient treatment.
The friend who visited at the clinic is the one who later needed help. The depressed woman in the first story is one of the friends in the second. Acceptance of each other despite great pain is an example of support that does not walk away during emotional struggles.
Because special friends don’t just leave you to die.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.
-pictures from qualitystockphotos.com