Mental Illness Is About The One Suffering The Most
Updated: Nov 15, 2019
When mentally ill people go down a dark hole, it is usually the outsiders that voice more suffering than the one in the most pain.
I came to a revelation earlier this year that changed my life.
My wife has suffered from certain mental episodes throughout our marriage, and I always inserted myself into these episodes and tried to elevate my suffering to the same degree as my wife. This rarely-to-never solved anything, and it commonly caused more strife and anguish in our relationship than anything else.
In May of 2019, my wife was officially diagnosed Bipolar II. As an ignorant man who was unfamiliar with the challenges of certain mental illnesses, I felt like an idiot for not seeing the signs earlier. I began to research the disorder and started to see patterns in all of our fights over the years. After a short amount of time, I realized that I was never the one truly suffering. It was my wife.
In May before my wife was diagnosed, she had been going through extreme mood and emotional swings. At a meeting we were both attending, she lost herself and exploded on one of my supervisors, which caused a lot of panic, misunderstanding, and hurt. At this time, there was only one person in the room that saw my wife's pain clearly and rushed over to her aide and assisted her out of the room. Sadly, that person was not me. Unfortunately, I was too hurt and affected by the situation.
When we met with that supervisor at a later date (After the diagnosis and the start of her medication), he went on to share a whole list of problems and pains he had from that outburst. I began to notice a pattern from this meeting.
My wife's suffering was constantly considered less than the suffering of others.
This is precisely the problem with normal-minded people often as they approach mentally ill people. Although the mentally ill are suffering tremendously on or off the medication, commentary from the normal-minded usually shifts the conversation away from the mentally ill and makes the conversation about themselves.
By doing this, we end up casting hot burning coals in the face of those truly suffering. My wife constantly felt like people were judging and condemning her, and she felt she was never really being understood or listened to by anyone.
When it comes to those suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bipolar, and so many others, it is wise to shut off our selfish impulses and focus on those that are suffering.
Comfort them. Listen to them. Encourage them. Be the one that helps mend the heart and mind. It is not about you.
It is about them.