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Thread: Something I have noticed with humans

  1. #1

    Default Something I have noticed with humans

    It always seems like to me is it's easier to have compassion and sympathy for those with mental illnesses like Bipolar, Borderline, etc. when you have never been with anyone who has it but once someone has been in a relationship with someone with it, they no longer show compassion for them and they put them on the bad list of evil to stay away from. Mostly with NPD and BPD I always see.

    Why is it that it's easier to have sympathy for those with mental illnesses and how it affects them until you are in a relationship with someone with it, your sympathy goes out the window and you see them as mean and evil now and jerks even though you know it's not their fault?

    Has anyone ever noticed this before with humans?

    Even I admit it is hard to have empathy for someone when they have hurt you and harmed you and not take any responsibility for it and not have any remorse. I've experienced it. So it's hard for me to have sympathy for anyone who is mean or a jerk and a diagnoses doesn't change it.

  2. #2

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    I suppose this all comes down to the philosophical problem of free will (aka determinism).

    If people had ultimate free will, they could overcome their mental health difficulties and addictions... and be held personally responsible for everything they do. Clearly, addictions exist, and people can't just "choose" to overcome their mental health problems.

    If people had no free will, they aren't responsible for anything they do. However, we do hold people responsible for their actions in most cases. The judicial system would collapse without this basic concept.

    So... it's a grey area.

    In people with a mental disorder, it's impossible to know how much of their behaviour is something they just can't help, an how much is them just taking advantage of their situation. On the one hand, it's important to be sympathetic to the plight of those affected by mental health conditions, to be inclusive, accommodating, and supportive... But it's just as vital to not accept "unacceptable" behaviour (tautologically).

    It doesn't matter whether you have a mental health condition or not; some things are unacceptable. It's not okay for anyone to be the brunt of someone else's mental illness.

    :-/

    When you're in a relationship with someone, you're a major part of their life and vice versa. So you can't so easily walk away and "give them some space" if they start to become a problem. So... people in a relationship are more likely to have a better idea of the more negative aspects of someone's mental condition... and adopt more negative perceptions of it.

  3. #3

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    I think too that people get worn down by the constant behavior of someone who has mental problems. Often, the same difficult or destructive behavior is repeated over and over again. The person who is afflicted by whatever they have can't help it, but it saps the energy out of others, or it can. I'm sure I was sometimes difficult on others back in my younger days. My parents had to keep an eye on me all the time, wondering what I'd do next.

    The first time I was in the back of a police car was when I was 11 years old. I also set my parents' garage on fire, also at 11 years old. One time my mom smelled smoke and ran upstairs into my bedroom. I had used lighter fluid and set my arm on fire. I shoplifted all the time. I was a gang leader at the age of 13. I was a handful and I know it wore them out. I think I was Borderline, and we can be difficult people. I got into a lot of fights, so some kids were afraid of me. So, we wear even our friends down unless our friends are as crazy as we are, or stronger....haha.

  4. #4

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    I've never really noticed people having compassion for people with bipolar disorder. It jumps straight to ostracism and ridicule right off the bat. And I'll admit that until I was diagnosed I believed the same nonsense about it that everyone I knew did—bipolar people were violent, were promiscuous, were all kinds of things. I thought I'd turn into something like that when that diagnosis was slapped on me.

    Aside from a month where a bad prescription call gave me a serious rage problem, all that happened was I was given meds to level me out. I was me, only less wildly mood cycling and scaring people.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by OmiOMy View Post
    I've never really noticed people having compassion for people with bipolar disorder. It jumps straight to ostracism and ridicule right off the bat. And I'll admit that until I was diagnosed I believed the same nonsense about it that everyone I knew did—bipolar people were violent, were promiscuous, were all kinds of things. I thought I'd turn into something like that when that diagnosis was slapped on me.

    Aside from a month where a bad prescription call gave me a serious rage problem, all that happened was I was given meds to level me out. I was me, only less wildly mood cycling and scaring people.
    I used to work with a LOT of people who had disorders of some type or another. And I vividly recall this one gal who was never leveled off with her bipolar. She would either be SUPER HAPPY and everyone was her best friend or she would be a SELF HARMING EVIL WOMAN who could only have spoons in her house to eat with so she wouldn't cut her arms open. No in between. Honestly, I felt pretty bad for her. (She had other things going on than just the bipolar and I think that was why she couldn't get leveled out on her mood swings.)

    I'm one of those...oddities...that I feel empathy with the person, but I won't get too close to them because I KNOW they can't control some things. I'm not going to voluntarily stay around someone who decides to use me as a punching bag because they couldn't stop themselves from having a fit of rage.

  6. #6
    Maxx

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I think too that people get worn down by the constant behavior of someone who has mental problems. Often, the same difficult or destructive behavior is repeated over and over again. The person who is afflicted by whatever they have can't help it, but it saps the energy out of others, or it can. I'm sure I was sometimes difficult on others back in my younger days. My parents had to keep an eye on me all the time, wondering what I'd do next.

    The first time I was in the back of a police car was when I was 11 years old. I also set my parents' garage on fire, also at 11 years old. One time my mom smelled smoke and ran upstairs into my bedroom. I had used lighter fluid and set my arm on fire. I shoplifted all the time. I was a gang leader at the age of 13. I was a handful and I know it wore them out. I think I was Borderline, and we can be difficult people. I got into a lot of fights, so some kids were afraid of me. So, we wear even our friends down unless our friends are as crazy as we are, or stronger....haha.
    ^^^ This.

    It's also recognizing that you can't fix their problems and trying to stay out of their destructive path.

    There's some of this on Mrs. Maxx's side. Every now and then one of our nephews (not a kid, in his 50's) goes on one of his episodes ending up unemployed,homeless and the last time, in some legal difficulty. His mother (Mrs. Maxx's older sister) has tired of this, and the last couple of times tried to pawn him off on us. I gave it some consideration, but Mrs. Maxx put her foot down. We had her mom here during her last years, we had our daughter and her family here for a couple of years, we've paid our dues. Now its dogsitting and babysitting for Junior. Taking nephew in wouldn't fix his issues, and could take us down with him. His mom has plenty of space, and more resources than we do She can deal with it.

    Now, having to devote time and attention to my mom and sister... leaving him here while I'm off to Florida for weeks at a time is out of the question. If it was a one-off problem, and helping him back on his feet would solve it, that's a different story. It's not lack of compassion, it's facing reality.

    Edit: Note that Mrs. Maxx and I get along fine with the nephew when he's sane. He probably spends more time on the phone with Mrs. Maxx than with anyone else in the family. The problem arises when it comes to "Hey, I need a place to stay for a while". Mrs. Maxx can most likely handle him if he goes off the rails, but we're old enough that it would be tough to recover if he burned the place down. Then there's her employment at a school. Not sure how that would play, having someone on law enforcement radar using our address. Also, at his age, with his history "for a while" could easily turn into "permanent".
    Last edited by Maxx; 3 Weeks Ago at 14:14.

  7. #7

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    I'm sure I've had people worry about me plenty of times in the past, not sure I've experienced anybody giving me an attitude because they assumed I would be a certain way due to my mental health problems though.

    I know I have self destructive behaviors and always used to just do as I felt like, whether it was extreme binge drinking (purposely going past functioning because I didn't want to be able to think about my problems), and was in/out of self harming for a few years.

    I don't Self Harm anymore though and I have way cut back on drinking.

    I can only imagine how these behaviours would wear on somebody in a relationship, and I know when it comes to fits of rage (I get angry at times, rarely enough to go full blown out of control though unless somebody constantly tries my patience and wears me down) that perhaps they feel like the people saying it is their mental health problems might just be deflecting to not have to take responsibility; especially if this were to happen on a regular basis.

    I know personally I would not want to subject others to my problems and would remove myself from a situation if possible rather than explode and potentially harm others, knowing in some way that it would come back onto me.

  8. #8
    Slomo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    It always seems like to me is it's easier to have compassion and sympathy for those with mental illnesses like Bipolar, Borderline, etc. when you have never been with anyone who has it but once someone has been in a relationship with someone with it, they no longer show compassion for them and they put them on the bad list of evil to stay away from. Mostly with NPD and BPD I always see.

    Why is it that it's easier to have sympathy for those with mental illnesses and how it affects them until you are in a relationship with someone with it, your sympathy goes out the window and you see them as mean and evil now and jerks even though you know it's not their fault?

    Has anyone ever noticed this before with humans?

    Even I admit it is hard to have empathy for someone when they have hurt you and harmed you and not take any responsibility for it and not have any remorse. I've experienced it. So it's hard for me to have sympathy for anyone who is mean or a jerk and a diagnoses doesn't change it.
    Well, I AM one such person who has lived with and dealt with someone who is bipolar (my sister). After a while you come to realize their disorder can actually be extremely well managed. Both with medications, and with the proper life style or avoiding certain triggers. When that person becomes difficult to deal with you come to realize they actively chose not to follow their own rules/guidelines to avoid becoming like that. You come to realize they actively chose to be difficult to deal with, just because it was easier to ignore the trigger at the time.

    So yeah, why WOULD I have any sympathy for a jerk like that?

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