Psychologists have their place, as do doctor;s psychiatrists and so on, when it comes to dealing with mental illness. However, no doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist can EVER hope to actually have ’empathy’ for the mentally ill, simply because, unless they’re mentally ill themselves (in which case they would not be allowed to practice), they cannot hope to understand or have empathy for any kind of mental illness. What they have, is sympathy. The two are vastly different.
They’ve ‘learnt’ how to give pointers to the mentally ill, for e.g. let’s take Borderline Personality disorder. This comes about due to severe childhood trauma, as the main cause. To then be given a set of ‘coping skills’ from the DSM, a book, or from their training, cannot work, and in fact, could make your trauma worse. Why?..
Well, their method is to keep going back to the crime scene. You revisit it over and over and over, till you could puke. The truth is, you cannot change what happened. It is what it is, and no matter how much you try to colour it pretty, it’s simply not possible. Also, you cannot bring the past into the now. Meaning, that the past is GONE. It’s over, it no longer exists, except for what we keep in our heads by choice. Now, after suffering severe trauma of one kind or another, it’s manifested in a mental illness, that only one who has also suffered trauma of any kind, and is possibly not well themselves, can have Empathy as well as true understanding for. Meaning, we actually understand what each other feels. We ‘get’ each other. We understand the pain, because we feel it ourselves and therefor, can be of tremendous help to one another. No textbook, like a history lesson, where you learn the subject and then regurgitate it, can ever hope to really help heal the damage caused to the mentally ill. Doctors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists mean well I’m sure, but cannot help in the true sense of the word in my humble opinion and through experience.
We don’t like to accept what happened to us, causing a mental illness of any kind, I know, but the reality is that we cannot change what happened. It happened. What I found to be my absolute best and most useful coping mechanism and road to wellness and happiness, was to stop with the therapists and the doctors, and rather, write down everything that happened to me. Be brave, be bold. Then I read the whole lot. – A couple of times. – I felt sick, I cried, but I then burnt the pieces of paper, and determined to move on! That is, in my opinion, the only way of learning to cope, accept and hopefully heal.
When we fully realise and accept that we cannot change the past. We can’t bring the past into the now and fix it. The past happened. The good and the bad, a great shift happens within us. One of the healthiest ways to deal with what IS, is to look at it ONCE, in all it’s ugliness and horror, then leave it in the past, without anger or regret, and live in the now, . We allow ourselves to really live! We stop dwelling on what WAS. Sure, the trauma that we experienced, in various degrees, was severe enough to make us mentally ill, so I’m not discounting any of it, having been subject to same myself, but what I am saying, is that to go back to the coffin and view the skeleton over and over again, won’t change how your mind sees the skeleton, it’ll only pro long your distress, or make it worse.
Truthfully, your heart, your own intuition knows. It knows how you feel, what you should or shouldn’t do, and it knows what you need at any given time. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Know your worth. Never ever feel guilty if you didn’t cook dinner, due to a rough day of just feeling blah! Allow your feelings without suppressing them. If you want to cry, then cry. There is no wrong or right, unless you’re close to suicide, and even then, you could botch it up, leaving you with a permanent physical disability to cope with too. For e.g. someone may decide they want to kill themselves, and jump out of the 5th storey of the building and lo and behold, they don’t die! They end up paralysed or something worse, but they live. Then, there’s the person who’s loving life, really doesn’t want to die, nor thinks about death, who slips on a pavement, smashes their head into the tarmac and drops dead!
We don’t know when it’s our time to go. Sure as nuts, if it’s not your time to go, you will not die. So forget that shit.
But we’re not talking about suicide. We’re talking about Sympathy vs. Empathy.
I’ve nothing against therapists, doctors whatever, but from experience, they have never helped me. Sure the Psychiatrist, who dishes out the meds to control the hectic ramifications of whatever mental disorder we have, is useful all right! But I believe, to be asked weekly, by a therapist or dr. ‘How do you feel’, and ‘how does or did that make you feel’?, is not only severely annoying, but traumatising too! We don’t WANT to hang onto our horrors, we have to live in the now. Today. Right where we are. Without excuses, and no apologies for who we are.
You are a beautiful human Being. That is TRUTH.
Never forget it.