Mental illness isn't an excuse for behavior. But it is deserving of some compassion.
Health Life

Yes, Even Mental Illness Is Allowed a Bad Day

Mental illness isn't an excuse for behavior. But it is deserving of some compassion.

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By Kristina Hammer of The Daily Rantings of an Angrivated Mom

Recently, I have witnessed some happenings which involved people who were emotionally compromised and fragile being bullied under the pretense of self-victimization. Though there were various motives, the bottom line simply put was they were trying to convey their feelings about something which was clearly getting the better of them. They were looking for a friend to reach out to see them through their stormy seas. Just like a lighthouse beckons ships to follow its light safely to harbor.

Having a depression diagnosis myself, I could completely understand where these people were coming from and the desperate need to vent to someone. Anyone. What I didn’t expect was to see others literally harassing them for their emotional outburst and asking them to stop playing the victim for attention.

A mental health diagnosis does not give one the right to do as they please without consequence or intentionally put their problems onto others. A diagnosis is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card. It is, however, something which requires a strong support system with a tremendous amount of acceptance and patience. A bit of understanding, some empathy, and a lot of compassion seal the deal.

Even if you don’t want to be a full-fledged participant in anyone’s support system, you unknowingly already are. When the Internet is someone’s only source of public communication, it pulls people into their private affairs, and not everyone is comfortable with or understanding of this effect.

Everyone wants to be all up in everyone else’s business…but only from afar, without attachment. People just want to be part of the audience, adding commentary as they see fit, but never actually offering themselves as a genuine, trustworthy friend.

Social media has taken away the layer of discernment which once distinguished the line between general acquaintance and trusted comrade, and the resulting confusion is spilling over into everyday reality. Someone having a nervous breakdown or suicidal ideation will not discriminate or use discretion when reaching to their so-called friends for help.

It doesn’t go over very well when someone is having a bad day, an emotional breakdown, or a personal tragedy nowadays. The negativity seems to escalate even more when the stigma of mental illness copilots the trip. People are readily accused of self-victimizing for expressing very personal sentiments, however influenced by their illness those perceptions may be, no matter how carefully construed their words are. Invalidating another’s emotional state by calling them out based on the premise of victim mentality is total and utter bullshit. It is okay to feel wronged, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. It is all right to reach out in a time of need. Today’s society doesn’t seem to believe so, though. In fact, most people who use the victim mentality stance as their go-to verbal assault weapon have no idea what it even means.

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In a world full of organized, promotional (and viral) movements proclaiming the same worn-out line about a greater need for awareness and change, it is encouraged for people to speak up and open up and to share their stories for others to learn from. To seek help without hesitation when they need help. Commit themselves as someone who will always be available to anyone in despair.

Those with mental health issues have a hard time trusting others with their true feelings, so when they open up and share them, it’s a really, really big thing. Yet, people turn around and hate on the people for doing just that. Why do we tolerate such hypocrisy without questioning it? People are merely expected to reach out when they’re fully suicidal, it seems. Everything else is purely for the show of dramatics — they’re only playing the victim again because they want company for their misery. They should have control over the chaos of their mind, not be bothered by it. Not one bit.

There’s NO reason why those people spooked by someone in the throes of an impetuous episode of life’s cruelty should say anything at all if it isn’t supportive or respectful. No need to call names or accuse anyone of playing victim. No need to spread someone else’s misfortune or embarrassment to the world, bringing them more shame than they undeniably carry with the crushing weight of stigma upon their shoulders.

It’s all so absurd that I want to start throat punching the ignorance right out of people. Starting with all those who misuse the victim stance first. It is really just a way for them to take their own deep-rooted attachment issues out on others, or, in better terms, to look like a completely ripe asshole for the washing. People are too afraid to take the time to thaw their ice-cold, bitter hearts to give up a little sympathy for someone else’s strife.

The world is still evolving to keep pace with the Internet. Still adapting to its sovereign placement in everyday life, struggling to accommodate the new alterations in the already complex intricacies of human relationships. Those blurred lines of delegation will take getting used to. People need to adjust to the change in the meaning of the word “friend.”  The eradication of the need for personal privacy in favor of over-sharing for the sake of social relationships will become the familiar norm. The more social media grows, the more people are going to live journal their every moment without regard to the individual nature of each person on their Friends List.

We all have bad days, bad weeks, bad years. Just as everyone is expected to scroll past something which is personally offensive or distasteful, the same holds true for personal posts containing rants and raves. In real-life incidences, just bite your tongue. Even complaining behind someone’s back about ‘what a victim that person is being’ does nothing but spread negativity and false pretenses, which could cause so much more harm than good. Until someone manages to wear every pair of shoes worn on this earth, they have no room to judge anyone else’s display of emotion; they just don’t know what someone is truly going through.

Every adult has heard the line as worn out as the victim portrayal game: If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say it at all! Well, practice it, dammit! Mental illness plays no games and takes all the hostages. Be genuine or go home.

It’s really that simple.



About the Author

Kristina L. Hammer is a blogging sahm to 4 crazy kiddos that have stolen her sanity. She’s addicted to Coca-Cola to stay energized on her journey to insanity and beyond! She has also recently added a brand new puppy and kitten to her growing zoo of family pets.


Twitter: @angrivatedmom