Most people do not cope well with badly hurt feelings. Sometimes they cope so badly that they commit suicide. This awful problem is growing and becoming increasingly visible.
I wonder whether addressing hurt feelings as a mental health issue is a mistake. I am not sure that hurting so badly that you cannot stand it is the same as being unstable. I am not sure that a person who is more unhappy than afraid of dying is abnormal in any way.
Perhaps the act of suicide is indeed sinful as stated by some religions. Even though we all die, many people of faith believe only God should mandate the timing and manner of our passing. Suicide is probably selfish to the extent it imposes senses of loss, guilt, and misery on those left behind. But perhaps it is just a forgivable act brought on by intolerable, exhausting unhappiness.
Maybe society or just individuals can find better ways to acknowledge and heal hurt and to prevent the use of harmful and addictive substances as a first line of defense against sadness. Maybe we can find better ways to bring out and dispel unhappy feelings. Maybe we can find unobtrusive ways to prevent those seeking isolation from wallowing in their distress.
Perhaps we could focus on education. Maybe, like other intelligence, emotional intelligence can be cultivated. Criticizing and disparaging pain does not work. Maybe we can find ways to foster happiness and to teach that it comes from within. Maybe we can do more to immunize people from hurt created by others and to foster self-worth.
Here are three things I was told we need to be happy:
- Something to do
- Someone to love
- Something to look forward to
Taking and teaching these steps could be a start.
See more from Irina Gajjar at www.irinaspage.com.