March 30, 2004

Derision and empathy

Is the only way to feel empathy towards someone afflicted with Schizophrenia is living with that person? Why is that not so with any other illness or disability? Why is there derision when one talks about the mentally ill? Is it ignorance or do the people who deride lack the capacity to understand or feel empathy?

'The invisible disability' about which there is no awareness at all. And we who live with Schizophrenia are the chosen ones who not only have to help our loved ones battle this illness but also undergo torment when someone derides them.

Yesterday before leaving Bangalore I visited someone who related what a close member of the family had derisively commented on my daughter. I felt pain and anger because this family member had a disabled daughter yet she felt no empathy for mine. I had explained about the illness to her when I had met her three months ago. I thought that she understood. Why then the derision?

I come home and my daughter tells me about my two friends who have been very helpful to her. One of them has been very understanding too, she says. They know about her illness, try their best to understand and feel so much of empathy.

Strange are the ways of the world. Derision from family and empathy from friends.

Thank you for your comments.

Dear Puzli, So good to know that you are feeling better. I am in Delhi and I look forward to meeting you and Monica. Till then... hugs.

Dear Nick, Thank you for your response and encouragement. We can make some people understand and they are those that matter and make the world a better place. My best wishes to you and your family.

Posted by survivor at March 30, 2004 03:23 AM


I think best way to get rid of something is IGNORANCE or just not ready to take responsibility. from my own personal exp. my inlaws just rejected my wife and tried to put all responsibilties on me. It triggerd her illness and other problems on family....birth of kid at this time and his knows well what is to take care of new born baby, feeding, sanitry, meet relatives and other things....apart from it, to take care of sick wife, no job,fights between parents & inlaws. I really wanted to runaway, but where to go....if I can't take care of my wife & kid, who else will do......yes circumstances were drastically bad but I had to find some way out.......just to understand, understand, to know more about sz,.....
and I think by the grace of God, I brought my life to mainstream.
I don't wanna say that I have done something great, but I want to convey the message, only we near & dear should take care of our sick siblings, friends & parents. when I recall the time.......I just laugh myself relatives or even so called the nearest one used to give advice.........when they had to stay for couple of hours in ill situation, they just turned away.

Yess Strange are the ways of the world. Derision from family and empathy from friends. but I really worried about people who don't have awareness, neither understandable family nor friends.........then we think how lucky we are????????????

Posted by: Nick at March 30, 2004 12:29 PM

Sorry to hear about your relative's comment! But i guess the best way is to ignore it..since we can't expect everyone to be nice or wat-so-ever. Mayb that's what make us human, imperfect. It's disappointing..but that's why we should always rely on God, cos he would never disappoint us :)
anyways, im really glad to hear that ur daughter is doing better!! I can imagine how happy you are =)

i'll continue to pray for you and your daughter. By the way, have u heard of the book called "the purpose driven life" by Rick Warren? It's a really popular book in America and i know alot of christians are using it as their daily devotions. If you're interested, i highly recommend you to read it. ok take care!


Posted by: helen at April 3, 2004 08:04 AM

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