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Listen in New Ways to Understand Someone with Mental Illness

On more occasions than I can possibly count, I’ve had conversations with people who are very concerned about someone in their life. Air Jordan 6 For Kids Be it a partner, a child, a neighbor, or a friend, we as humans care about those close to us. When we care about someone, we experience the gamut of human emotions when that someone is struggling. When that struggle is related to mental health and mental illness it’s normal for frustrations to reach an all-time high. Tennessee Volunteers Jerseys One of the things about difficulties like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorders, and the myriad of other mental illnesses is that these things affect the brain. Nike Archive 83.M They impact how people think, how people perceive the world, and how people feel and act based on those thoughts and perceptions. Additionally, mental illness impacts communication. Air Jordan 2012 Shoes A cruel trick of all mental illnesses and developmental disorders of childhood is that they muddle things up in the brain just enough that thoughts are distorted and it’s often difficult to express wants, needs, feelings, and desires. (An important note: This has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence! Mental illness impacts certain types of processing in the brain and affects neurotransmitters and neural pathways, but these are independent of intellectual functioning.) listen This is one of the sources of agony and frustration for people living with mental illness or developmental disorders as well as those who care for them. A solution? Seek to understand. Canada Goose Parka Learn to listen in new ways. In the novel Leave of Absence , Oliver Graham has experienced a severe trauma and loss. He can’t cope, and he has almost completely shut down. After a suicide attempt, he was taken to a behavioral health hospital by a police officer and a social worker named Lilly. During the admittance process, he was unable to respond to anyone. When he couldn’t even provide his name, the intake counselor grew frustrated: “Oliver, this process doesn’t have to be difficult. Russell Wilson I just need your basic background information.” Lilly interjected. “I don’t think he’s trying to be difficult. I work at a homeless shelter clled SafeSpace. He arrived there about two months ago. He’s extremely quiet and keeps to himself. New Balance Femme I’ve never seen him talk to anyone, actually. He’s withdrawn, not oppositional.” Both the intake counselor and Lilly were listening to Oliver. Houston Cougars Jerseys Air Foamposite One The intake counselor was listening to Oliver’s words, or, rather, the lack of them. canada goose kensington parka He heard that Oliver wouldn’t answer, and he was irritated because all he needed was basic information. This intake counselor was listening with only his ears. Lilly, on the other hand, listened with her ears, yes. She heard Oliver’s silence. She also listened with her eyes. Under Armour Curry 3.0 She observed Oliver’s posture, which was drooped and defeated rather than tense and rigid. PJS Veste De Printemps Femme She “listened” to his actions, which were lethargic and calm rather than agitated and angry. Seton Hall Pirates While the intake counselor listened to the lack of words, Lilly listened to Oliver’s whole being. canada goose trillium parka Because of that, she understood him. She understood that he wasn’t being difficult on purpose. She empathized with him and the fact that he wasn’t capable of participating in life. And, because she understood, she was able to think of a solution to the problem that satisfied everyone. Asics Gel Lyte 3 Femme Grise Listening differently like Lilly did is vital to communicate that love and empathy that are present, no matter the age of the person or the difficulties he/she is experiencing. In My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel, seven-year-old Abigail Harris was never able to form a loving attachment to anyone. Living in various foster homes from the age of two, she has now come to live with an aunt and uncle she has never known. Asics Gel Kinsei 6 Homme She’s in a new city, with unknown people, in a strange new school. She’s never learned to trust, she’s never had a chance to receive or give love. She’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to express in words what she’s feeling. To make her various needs known, Abigail has a lot of tantrums. Abigail's tantrums The caring adults in her life listen to her yells and her screams. Canada Goose Femme It’s hard for them to hear beyond that, for they’re used to listening with their ears to words. Fortunately for Abigail, she accidentally discovers the school custodian, Brain Cunningham. Living with debilitating anxiety himself, he knows how difficult it is sometimes to communicate calmly and logically in words. Atlanta Hawks He listens to Abigail with his ears, and he hears not opposition but fear in her tantrums. He listens to her with his eyes, too, and sees nonverbal signs that she wan
ts to connect but is scared and just doesn’t know how. Because of the way he listens, he alone is able to get through to her. Listening is one of the most important of all human activities. It’s what leads to understanding, empathy, bonding, and love. No matter how well-meaning we are, communication and connection break down when we only listen with our ears. Many times, the best listening comes from our eyes. Baylor Bears From there, it goes to the hearts of all.

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