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Topic # 191822 17-Feb-2016 15:17
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I know this is quite a generalised question but a few recent events got me thinking. A close friend of mine is going through a depressive episode and I visited her earlier today. She told me that my wife and I are the only ones who have offered to personally visit and just spend some time with her. Whilst we are pretty close friends with her, we probably aren't quite in the top 3. She showed me all these messages on her Facebook wall from people wishing her well, "thinking of you, babe" and so forth (the sheer insensitivity of discussion other people's mental health state on their FB wall is also a bit striking to me).

 

The themes all seems to be "I KNOW how you feel" and how they want her to know they really care etc. But she mentioned that few people seem to want to take the time to actually just listen to her and spend time with her. We also happen to know some of her closest friends and, generally speaking, they don't appear to be the time poor types that can't spare an hour over the next few days to see her. But we know that some of her attempts at reaching out to them have met with no response. And this person has always been socially popular, pleasant, and willing to go out of her way to help others.

 

Thinking about my own social circles, I have to say that save for one or two unusual people, I rarely hear from anyone who just "gets in touch" by way of a text or whatever just to see if you are okay. The only time when people get in touch is if they want to do some activity together. As a early-30s professional guy, I am struck by how much more often I get "hello" e-mails and so forth from supposedly egotistical older people in senior positions for whom I previously worked etc, wanting to catch up "just because". Others in my age group report quite similar experiences.

 

This is all anecdotes, obviously. And I don't know what firm conclusions can be drawn but if anyone else has any views, fire away.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1494078 17-Feb-2016 15:24
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I can only draw on my  personal experience. I go up and down with my disability both physically and mentally, I don't often have folks ask how I am doing. My close friends and family of course do but it seldom extends beyond that. My family is awesome though and it would far worse without them.

 

I try to be caring but I cannot always be available due to physical limitations. 





Mike
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  Reply # 1494101 17-Feb-2016 15:33
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Ah... Interesting read here.

 

All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1494103 17-Feb-2016 15:36
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It is so easy nowadays to lose that human contact with people. Such as someone being unwell they can just post something on facebook and most of them think of that as the norm now. Which is sad really, when human contact is what really matters.

 

 

 

Also people are so caught up in their own lives they barely have time for others. I make sure who ever needs my time gets it.


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  Reply # 1494104 17-Feb-2016 15:36
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I blame social media. Not really. But kind of.

 

I don't think it's so much that people are less caring, just that interacting primarily via Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging means they don't know how to display empathy any more. They think sending a hug emoticon (>' ')> is caring, but sometimes what people need is an actual hug.


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  Reply # 1494106 17-Feb-2016 15:48
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freitasm:

 

Ah... Interesting read here.

 

All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?

 

 

 

 

better than not doing anything





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1494109 17-Feb-2016 15:51
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I think I personally am much more caring and compassionate than I was when younger.  Having had life experience I am more understanding about how people get into trouble and struggle in life.  I've seen many who suffer in silence with depression, pain or addictions who get little sympathy from those who think that if you just try harder you will overcome all obstacles.  Someone close to me had to have a stroke before he realised how kind and compassionate others are (as he wasn't) to those less fortunate.  Sadly it can take a personal tragedy for some to understand how others suffer.

 

I had a client recently (man in his 40s) and he said that when he was a young manager he had no sympathy for any worker who wanted time off for family reasons (e.g. a sick child).  Now he is a family man himself, he is much more compassionate.  Does a person really need to have kids to understand how family life impacts on his/her workers? Seems so.

 

More generally, I think the current political climate is more selfish - I'm talking both Nat and Labour here.  The neo-liberal economic climate leaves no room for compassion IMO. The refrain 'user pays' is another way of saying, 'roll back the welfare state, we don't care anymore.'


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  Reply # 1494116 17-Feb-2016 15:56
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I think social media is actually a possible panacea rather than the cause.

 

I really feel that the consumer society stoked by capitalism which has led to a focus on the individual rather than the collective lies behind this issue. Basically people start to be more self focused and care less about others.





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  Reply # 1494117 17-Feb-2016 16:03
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Perhaps we are, but not intentionally so. As a society, we have become more transient, less prone to putting down roots in any one area, and that doesn't really bode well for maintaining a long term relationships, and that would include family connections.

 

We are als probably getting down to getting thru life, tending to one's own and immediate family needs, and not noticing the wider community family that needs help. Guess I'm guilty of that, but if a friend or non-so-close family member says they need an ear, then I'd be the first to rock up and get my ear bent :-). Just gotta ask





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  Reply # 1494120 17-Feb-2016 16:09
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I'd say so. A few years ago (Say 10+) when someone had a new baby, there were people who would drop around food, offer to take the baby for a few hours so mum could sleep, or take second child to park for a few hours, stuff like that. 

 

I blame the me me me culture that seems so much more prevalent now. 


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  Reply # 1494155 17-Feb-2016 16:47
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I think that culturally we've become less inter-dependent, more individualistic. We no longer need to care about other people in the same way we used to.

 

In the Good Old Days, we used to join clubs to be able to perform some kind of activity e.g. sports. We needed to work together with other people to achieve something. Nowadays, all those clubs are gradually dying, or amalgamating to stay afloat. Nowadays, if someone wants to go skiing, they jump in their own car and arrange their own individual accommodation, go to a bar for dinner & aprez-ski entertainment. The old communal way of life (shared transport, shared accommodation, communal meals and entertainment) doesn't fit with modern lifestyles.

 

In the Good Old Days, if you broke down, other people would stop to offer help, and/or you would walk to a nearby house to phone for help. Nowadays, no-one stops, and you just use your own cellphone to call. If you approach a farmhouse, you're regarded with suspicion.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1494160 17-Feb-2016 16:56
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MikeB4:

 

freitasm:

 

Ah... Interesting read here.

 

All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?

 

 

 better than not doing anything

 

 

I think both you and Maurizio are right, within particular contexts. One thing that I am increasingly uncomfortable with is people's tendency to purport to "know" or "understand" others' feelings and concerns (especially supposedly close friends and family) without caring to invest the time and energy to listen to the person or to invest the emotional energy to search within themselves and metaphorically walk in the other person's shoes. As someone who has also battled depression issues in the past and has a significant other in the medical field, there are some things going through my depressed friend's head that many people who just flippantly say "they know" likely won't understand - worries about when she will get better; if she might be one of those "unlucky ones" who continually relapse despite help etc etc, all thoughts that she articulated.

 

OTOH if people want to sign some petitions or whatever to keep a relevant/topical issue alive when their means to otherwise effect some good is limited, I don't begrudge someone for doing it. The sorts that do this kind of thing as some kind of moral exhibitionism however.....

 

I also find that a lot of people's expressiveness and the ability to articulate their thoughts to be quite startlingly limited, which in turn leads me to ask whether such limitations manifest elsewhere. Someone gave you a nice gift and you are really thankful? These days the norm just seems to be "Thanks, babe. Luv the gift xoxo". Is it that hard to write a few more lines about how the thing makes you feel and what you think about the gift-giver?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1494194 17-Feb-2016 18:09
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MikeB4:

 

freitasm:

 

Ah... Interesting read here.

 

All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?

 

 

 

 

better than not doing anything

 

 

 

 

How? I've never seen evidence that prayer has altered a darned thing in the world for a start.






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  Reply # 1494224 17-Feb-2016 18:22
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Geektastic:

 

MikeB4:

 

freitasm:

 

Ah... Interesting read here.

 

All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?

 

 

 

 

better than not doing anything

 

 

 

 

How? I've never seen evidence that prayer has altered a darned thing in the world for a start.

 

 

 

 

Right on topic.


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  Reply # 1494226 17-Feb-2016 18:28
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I think part of the problem is the 'stiff upper lip' thing. I know I tend to answer when asked how am I " I am fine thanks" even though the opposite is the case.
There is also a stigma regarding admitting that things are to one and that you are depressed. Despite the works of the likes of John Kirwan there is still a lot of misunderstanding.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1494227 17-Feb-2016 18:30
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Geektastic:

MikeB4:


freitasm:


Ah... Interesting read here.


All those people who sign online petitions, share images and prayers. Do they know that actually don't do anything to help?



 


better than not doing anything



 


How? I've never seen evidence that prayer has altered a darned thing in the world for a start.



If prayer helps someone cope it's no one else's business.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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