You’re right Steve, comments are a lot nicer than likes, so thanks for taking the time to comment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how people who know us least are sometimes the most supportive, in the moment, or on a post, etc.
The only thing I can come up with is that it’s possible that if you acknowledge a friend or family member’s post, where they are upset or in crisis, that you would then feel some level of obligation to help them in some way. Where as if you ignore it you can always claim ignorance. People who you’ve never met in real life, or who you don’t know at all, maybe, probably don’t feel any sort of responsibility to DO anything about it. They don’t have your brother or sister’s phone number so they can’t call them to express concern, etc.
I have had friends who have posted links to fundraisers for their church or their kids school. People generally do not click like on these if they don’t intend to donate money. They just pretend they don’t see them. I had a friend mention to me that someone had liked the post but had not donated, and that she felt like the unwritten rule was that you don’t “like” it if you don’t intend to participate.
I just wondered if there is this same unwritten rule for posts where people are pouring their hearts out, or leaving that one sentence that may be a cry for help. If you acknowledge that you saw it will you yourself, as well as others, wonder why you didn’t do more?
I think that ultimately, like you’ve said, unless they have had a brush with mental illness or have been extremely close to someone who has, I’m just not sure they’ll ever get it.
Like you, I have a daughter with multiple special needs and, in a way, I am grateful that I’ve experienced depression and anxiety, so that I can more easily relate to her way of thinking.
I think the bottom line is that people generally just don’t know what to do, even when they care. All I’m asking is that people maybe consider just acknowledging a loved one who is pain. If they posted “I have the stomach flu. I am so sick”, there would be hoards of comments with them well. When can things be that same way for people suffering from mental illness? Hopefully soon.