Monday, May 14, 2012

The Idea of Empathy

Empathy is the sharing of feelings and or ideas of another person or persons. There are ways to reach others how to handle their emotions which is through trust and empathy. These two aspects help in learning and coping with emotions through verbalizing in a way that the experience of learning and coping are understood by the mental health consumer. I for a long time, having used drugs throughout my mid-teens to middle adult life, had a hard time at understanding or being understood. I was frustrated, and had a hard time acquiring my needs, I didn’t know how to express my true feelings anymore and basically “vegetated” and identified with anyone who was at the bottom of the “heap”. Empathy is real, it is responding in a way that others are as satisfied as you are or want to be, reflecting and expressing yourself in a proper way in respect to feelings of others. It was difficult at that time in my life, harboring anger, and discontent towards others, yet with the compassion of mental health workers, case managers, therapist and other consumers, I began to build self esteem and listen and know what expressions brought good feelings which helped me to understand that I could think of good ideas and solve problems by associating with others instead of living in frustration. Learning to involve yourself, with people with similar aspirations helps build friendships and strength of character. This involves empathy, yet as we are climbing from the depths of a well, the apathy, the lack of interest or motivation has to become something other than the indifference we live. The helplessness and anxiety exit yet when understanding and support of our weakness is understood the apathy gives way to empathy, and then we begin to develop our identity and know the importance of respect for our fellow beings. Written by Donald Sammons

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