Here’s the thing about our society today, we are too quick to judge. We see people drinking or doing drugs and we immediately think they are a danger to society. We immediately fear or restrain them because of all the stigmas that were implemented ages ago. Of course, in desperate situations where the person is violent or aggressive, using restraints would be the smart move. However, in a lot of cases, people tend to disregard humanity and resort to restraining. And we live in the 21st century so, following stigmas that were put there ages ago would be a nuisance, wouldn’t it?
It’s hard to mention but the people who always overreact like this are the police. Not all police, of course, but most of them. This is shown in the ongoing series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, where one of the detectives was walking around his neighbourhood and was deemed a danger just because of his skin colour, by another officer. The officer only let him go when he was identified as a fellow law enforcer. Though, before he was even identified, he was held at gunpoint even when he wasn’t doing anything that would be a danger to anyone.
This article isn’t about racism but my point is how the officer handled a situation that did not require such actions. For instance, a while back, police were called to a home where a girl with anxiety lived because she was having a panic attack. Without any warning, they pushed her to the ground and restrained her. Anyone with basic knowledge of how to handle people with any mental illnesses would know that restraining her is the worst solution there is, unless the person was violent or aggressive, which she wasn’t.
Authorities, especially those working with the mentally ill, should have the basic knowledge of mental illnesses as well as proper ways to handle them. No matter what, no one should be treated as anything less than a human. Everyone just has issues and it’s in their minds like fire. And what do we always learn? We can’t fight fire with more fire. Thus, here are a few things that could help you figure out how to help people trying to get back on their feet:
Understand Or Empathize
First and foremost, of course, you have to know the situation. Every situation with people in rehabilitation is different. This is why we can’t use the same system with every single patient. It’d be hard for us to understand everything that’s going through everyone’s mind but the least we can do is empathize even if we can’t fully understand. When we learn how to empathize, it’ll be easier to deal with the situation in a calm or orderly manner instead of needing restraints or anaesthetics. Humans are known to act irrationally when they can’t understand a situation. The confusion oftentimes leads to frustration.
Thus, instead of forcing yourself to understand the person, just try to empathize with the situation. Instead of racking your brain as to why a person is acting a certain way, get it in your head that everyone goes through something entirely different in their lives. Everyone grows up differently with different privileges, different situations that would leave a mark on their journey. Once you come to terms with that, you’d understand or empathize a lot better.
No Matter What, Stop Judging
Instead, provide solutions. As mentioned before, people are too quick to judge and that is very toxic and can sometimes be harmful in our society. Yes, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions but if that opinion isn’t helpful or useful to anyone involved, it’s best to keep it to yourself. A simple comment about someone’s weight can destroy any person’s self-esteem. You don’t know how long they’ve been working on themselves and their mental health. You don’t know what they’ve been through and your comment could put them in a downward spiral.
Another example would be when you’re commenting on someone who smokes. There are several reasons someone would smoke. It could be to look cool, as a coping mechanism or they might be addicted to the effects of nicotine. I get that smoking is harmful and whatnot but that does not justify you judging or criticizing them for it. Instead, you could suggest they transition to a healthier alternative like e-cigarettes or vape mods. It’s helpful instead of useless. Bottom line is, just don’t judge and instead learn their reasons and offer useful help.
Educate Yourself As Best As You Can
The least you could do if you’re someone with no mental illnesses or you’ve had the privilege of living a good life is to educate yourself. Being ignorant while you judge other people is not a good look.
People with mental illnesses or addictions are not dangerous people. They are misunderstood most of the time and it’d be nice if we showed some effort to get to know why or how we can help. Sometimes, they just need someone to listen to them.
If you feel like you want to get help, then check out our article about the signs you have to notice to know if you need help or not.