Ignorance with sharing your life’s challenges with someone

Ignorance from society:  Ignorance from society isone of the main causes of social anxiety and depression.

Rejection from societyleads to a series of emotional and spiritual issues that need to be addressed. Humansare not created to be antisocial. The need for human companionship, love,acceptance, and even touch is inherent to our natures. Rejection, however, cansubjugate those needs creating more serious issues.

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Feeling rejected from oneof our most basic needs has a devastating impact on the way we see life and theway we deal with life. The hardest thing to overcome in a person’s life isthe emotional impact of feeling rejected. Teenagers can go to extra-ordinarylengths to be accepted, sometimes by any group, good or bad.

Adults areconstantly seeking a slot where they can be accepted and useful. Those childrenwho are accepted are significantly more emotionally stable than those who arenot. But those who feel rejected from family and social circles develop a fearof rejection which makes it harder and harder to be accepted.

The end result ofsuch a case is often depression and anxiety leading to suicide.Those people who have friends frequently go through life unaware thatothers do not, because those others are so isolated as to be sociallyinvisible. We are living in an era in which Facebook has made “friend” into averb, we often confuse the ambient familiarity of websites with the authentic familiaritythat comes with sharing your life’s challenges with someone who cares – whowill be happy because you feel joy, sad because you are ad, worried if you arenot well, reassuring if you are hopeless. We are socially isolated even incrowded cities and at noisy parties.Depression is a disease of loneliness. Many untreated depressives lackfriends because it destroys the vitality that friendship requires and immuresits victims in an impenetrable sheath, making it hard for them to speak or hearwords of comfort. It would be arrogant for people with friends to pitythose without.

Some friendless people may be close to their parents or childrenrather than to extra familiar friends, or they may be more interested in thingsor ideas than in other people. The Relate research suggests that married peopleare mostly happier than the unmarried, but marriage is not right for everyone. Many people, however, are desperate for love, but don’t know how to goabout finding it, disabled by depression’s tidal pull toward seclusion.Loneliness will not be fixed by medication, though pills may instigate thestability to open up to friendship’s liabilities: potential rejection,exhausting demands, and the need for self-sacrifice.Loneliness and depression have always gone hand-in-hand.

We’ve allexperienced moments when we find ourselves a little down due to a lack of closefriendships. If someone had no close relationships in life,it’s not a stretch to assume he would feel some powerful malaise as a result.Recently, a study conducted over a five year period at the University ofChicago found that the presence of loneliness early in the five year spanwas an excellent predictor for depression later in the five year span. In fact,loneliness was an even better predictor than the presence of depression itselfearly in the five year span.  If there is a person who has to skip class or miss a day of work becauseof cancer, almost no one would question the validity of their condition or theauthenticity of their intentions but Ii someone missed a day of work because ofallergies or temperature, many of us would be more likely to be skeptical aboutwhether or not the individual is actually sick or if he or shesimply doesn’t want to come to school or work. Not because we’re ignorant, butbecause everyone has had a cold or allergies.Everyone has gone through temperature and allergies.

So, they think takingleave from work due to this reason is not acceptable. But not many of us havedealt with cancer, and because we have no understanding or experience, we areable to respect it as valid reason. Perhaps the person has extreme allergies,and has a reaction leaving them unable to breath, warranting an eventual tripto the hospital. Meanwhile, the individual with cancer may be feeling fine andcapable of working but is really just using it as an excuse to skip work orschool. Even in hearing that the person with allergies had to pay a visit tothe hospital, many would still be quick to judge him or her as lazy while ableto forgive the individual with cancer. We tell the person with allergies totake some medicine or an allergy shot and get back to school or work as soon aspossible, because in our personal experiences, that’s how we handle a cold orallergies. Meanwhile we are eager to encourage to cancer patient to get rest, takeleave from work, focus on getting better, and come back on their own time,assuring him or her that we can’t possibly understand what they are goingthrough but are perfectly willing to work with them upon their return to catchthem up on everything they missed because of that horrible disease.

This is the same reason so much stigma exists around mental illness, andespecially depression and anxiety. We don’t know what it’s like to haveschizophrenia, and that lack of experience allows us to respect and fear it. Inthis case, ignorance fosters, at the very least, an acknowledgment that it is areal and serious disorder. Someone misses work or school because of abreakdown, episode, or hallucination, and we are quick to accept this as avalid excuse not to come to class or the office. On the other hand, if someonemisses work or school because of a panic attack or because the depression is sobad they don’t have the energy to get out of bed, we tell them to get over it.We tell them to cheer up and look at the bright side or to take a deep breathbecause there’s nothing to worry about.

We try to give them advice based onwhat we do when we’re nervous or sad, but what individuals with depression andanxiety are struggling with goes far beyond these normal and healthy emotions.And while the intention behind these offerings of advice is generally pure, allthey really serve to do is invalidate the very real and debilitating symptomsof entirely legitimate disorders.If sadness and worry were not common emotions familiar to all people, wewould be much more concerned when individuals feel the intense symptoms ofanxiety and depression.

But we do have these emotions, and although thesymptoms are just as intense, we are able to disregard them because ‘we knowwhat it’s like.Ignorance is a problem that prevents a lot of people from recognizingthe severity of mental illness, and it does add to stigmasurrounding mental illness. However, it is not, in any way, the primarycontributor that we ascribe it to be.

While we should beinformed and seek to understand the complexity and severity of mental health,ignorance is not the most harmful reaction to these conditions. The falsebelief that we do understand and our attempts to treat themwith trivial advice is the real injustice.       


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