The Invisible Illnesses

I was going to do something this week again about music.  It really is a subject that is incredibly meaningful to me, but after the events earlier this week with Chester Bennington’s death, I feel the need to address something else.

Mental illness, in all of its various forms, is something that is very real.

So many people suffer silently due to their mental illness, no matter which form it comes in. A great number of these people feel trapped with no other way out.  They feel alone, ostracized for these feelings or thoughts they have, and trapped.

If you are someone suffering from this, do not do so in silence.  You are not alone. The way you feel is the way you feel. There is no right or wrong to that. YOU ARE NOT WEAK.

If things get too desperate, please:

Suicide Hotline:  800-273-8255

If a phone call won’t do or is too much, you can even Chat Online Here

Mental Illnesses comes from a number of different sources – both genetic as well as chemical. People who suffer from these – and indeed, they DO suffer – have a hard time being taken seriously by their friends and family much less anyone in the medical field.  There’s always some hot new diagnosis that seems to be the latest fad, and they are square-pegged into that diagnosis no matter what shape they are.

This is something I can literally talk for hours and hours about.

It is something that I’ve seen in friends and family, even suffered through myself.

The long and the short of it is DO NOT TRY TO TELL ANYONE WHAT AND HOW THEY FEEL.

There has been increasingly more awareness about such things over the past few years, but I still see the same phrases over and over again.

  • “You need to just take control over your own life and CHOSE to get better.”
  • “There’s loads of people who have it way worse than you.”
  • “It’s all just in your head. You don’t REALLY have X,Y, Z.”
  • “Why don’t just you go to a doctor for it? They have all the magic fixes.”
  • “Why DO you go to a doctor for it? It’s not a big deal.”

I’ve seen a couple of videos that touched beautifully upon this.   THIS ONE has to be my favorite.

Please, I ask you. Be aware. Be considerate. I get if you have never suffered from any of these, you will likely never truly understand what it is like, but try. Questions are OK. If you have a friend who suffers – and yes, it is suffering – ask them what helps THEM.

  • Sometimes, it’s just being there that helps.
  • Other times, it’s giving them the space to breathe.
  • You’d be surprised what sending a simple message to check in or send let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Do not try to make it about you – the way they are feeling and how it effects YOU. That will only make it worse and drive a wedge between you.
  • Open a dialogue, if they let you.
  • Listen, and don’t judge

 

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