Do you whisper to him?

Have you ever walked along thinking about your shopping list when someone you know who has a mental illness almost bumps into you? Do you whisper  to him because you are afraid to excite him or cause him to become violent? OR do you speak more slowly than usual as if he were unable to understand what you are saying?

How about trying to treat him as a person instead of as an illness? Snap judgements can be incorrect. There is no way of knowing whether our car mechanic, a co-worker, a neighbor or the cashier of the supermarket is dealing with a mental illness.

Somehow, people in general tend to assume that a person with a psychotic disorder does not have the slightest idea of what is best fom him/her. I know that if you are in the company of one and he gets upset, it’s a good idea to ask whether there is anything you can do to help and then do as he requests.

If we want to show basic human courtesy and a respect for human dignity, we have to remain open minded, curious and be willing to get to know people without judging them. This goes a long way in respecting human dignity.


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