Empathy and the mentally ill

Those that are mentally ill, commonly get a bad reputation. However, I have come to find that the most empathetic individuals I know are also the people that have a problem (not to mention the spectacular people caring for them). This is likely because they spend so much time self analyzing. If more people REALLY paid attention, I think we could have a more peaceful society. This is something I hope to instill in my children. I guess what this ramble is trying to say is thank you for being such good people.


I do feel as though struggling with mental illness has only increased my ability to empathize…I was never much of the ‘touchy feely’ sort but I was at the same time maybe a little more on the empathic side before my struggle with Sz began. I’m not where I was at 24/25…walking around proclaiming Jack Johnson a prophet while overwhelmed with empathy for the pain and suffering of the entire world…jeez that was a bit much at times.

But yes I feel I’m the better in this way for what I went through all those years…I no longer feel the world’s pain but I can certainly empathize with anyone struggling in this life.


Beautifully said.

thank you to you too samples32. i find that i trust US here on the forum better than lots of luckier people for the same reason, although that isn’t such a good thing.


I do agree with you @samples32 - I do feel that those living with pain, especially emotional pain have a better understanding usually of what it feels like to be in other peoples shoes - especially when those people are suffering or going through a difficult time. Not everyone with a mental illness are empathetic, but many are - including me

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Think there’s more a need for compassion than empathy. Something I’m trying to focus on anyway as empathy can get toxic at times.

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I’ve been contemplating empathy a lot this past week, and I try to open up and be kind to others.

When I spent my days deep in my head, I had no real empathy. It just didn’t dawn on me. Other people didn’t seem real and I felt no connection to anyone… well… except one. There was and always has been one other human who I felt connected to.

Even in my wax build-up that connection shut down.

But then I started getting better and feeling more giving towards others.

But today… I hate to say this… but I find when my brother is going through something symptomatic it’s so freaking hard for me to be around him.

There is some of my heart that hates seeing my youngest brother suffer like this now. There is also some of me that is still to angry at him… I do realize he was manic and not in control… that I can logically forgive… but I’m still mad at him.

there is a piece of me that just doesn’t want to be any where near that drama… so I don’t feel like I’m being that empathetic.

I can be empathetic to people I don’t know, and other family members… but I’m still struggling with this one brother. I’ve been told by others… he could really use me as a friend right now. I’m trying to get myself ready for that.

Again one step at a time I guess.

I’m still feeling a bit down.

I think that you are putting too much pressure on yourself. It is harder for me to forgive family. You are in no way obligated to help him just because you have had similar things happen with you. As a matter of fact, I personally feel that if you don’t want to help deep down in your heart, at best you won’t help and at worst, you could be a hindrance. This is different, and yet similar. My mother blows her money. She has no idea how to be fiscally responsible. She calls me for money constantly… We have money… My husband works 5 jobs and is very successful. I will gladly hand the richest man in the world my last penny if he says he needs it and even though I know he doesn’t, that’s okay. However, I will not hand my mother a half cent. After all the years of her blowing money and us not having food I just can’t. I know she has a problem, but, I cannot patiently help her, it always turns into an argument because I am not ready tohelp.

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