Invisible Pain – Mental Illness

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – Dalai Lama


Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte wrote a blog post called Invisible Pain, discussing how people with chronic invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, diabetes, Cushings Disease, etc. might be silently suffering and dismissed as having pain “all in their head.”  

 

Her post reminded me of a video on You Tube posted on Facebook by one of my therapist friends, Carol Rosen . It shows a man who, with special glasses, can tell what other people he walks by in his everyday life are going through. Most people, he sees, are coping with something powerful. Mental health challenges such as addiction, alienation, anger and grief and loneliness.

Wouldn’t it be something if we all had special vision, a way to see inside of people, to see what issues they are coping with today?

What if, like this young man in the video, as we walked through the coffee shop or parking lot, we had the special vision to remember that we all need healing? I have always loved the quote

Be Kind Whenever Possible, It is always Possible. – Dalia Lama

And of course, we are not all the Dalai Lama, we are all subject to bad days and bad behaviors, but if you have ever had the experience of being in a grocery store and feeling so choked up from trying to stop the tears and realizing no one there even knew how you were feeling inside, then civility and kindness from others was a great gift that day.

Mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, is widespread, silent and debilitating. The Center for Disease Control surveys regarding mental health are sobering. In a given month, US citizens as a whole experience four days of mentally unhealthy days, and 10% of the US population experiences a whopping 14 days of mentally unhealthy days.

With these statistics, I wonder why is there no hoopla around a nationwide Walks for Depression? Why is World Mental Health Awareness Day, October 10, barely a blip on our society’s radar?

 

It’s easy to feel alone when suffering from mental illness, such as depression and anxiety. But there are many ways to reach out and get help. One important way is to reach out and use the health insurance for which you already pay. Find a local mental health therapist. Another way is to let down your walls and share yourself with your friends. No need to be ashamed of your feelings. Chances are the friend you confide in will have a story of their own to share.

 

Fight the stigma against mental illness, depression and anxiety!

 

Your mental health is valuable. It is a real possession. Take care and accept your thoughts & feelings carefully.

 

 

Treatment is available, you are not alone.

 

 

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14 Responses to “Invisible Pain – Mental Illness”

  • “You are not alone.” Always good to remember but easy to forget when in the throes of depression or mental illness.

    I want to be kind to all but not sure I want to be constantly “seeing” other people’s problems. My heart and 2nd chakra would be on overload unless I learned better how to detach.

    Good post Kathy, xxoo, Cherry
    cherry woodburn recently posted..Confidence Chronicles | In Part 2, Tara Gentile Talks About Achieving FailureMy Profile

  • Hi Cherry –
    Ah! Great observation about being on overload and knowing your limits. I know, I think seeing all the problems all the time would probably be too much for any of us. It would be like working non-stop in a hospital or in a mental health unit w/o any respite, and w/o any normal boundsries. I really like the video though, as I think it’s an artistic way to make a point!
    Here’s to healthy heart chakras!

    take care, my friend, Kathy
    Kathy Morelli recently posted..Invisible Pain – Mental IllnessMy Profile

  • You did a great job bringing the pieces together. The video is powerful. Mental health is under valued by our society. Mental illness carries a stigma in society. Illness people can’t visual see are much the same as you and Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte pointed out. Maybe if each person can open their hearts to themselves and one other person we could begin to affect a change towards a world with more support, care and love.
    JoAnn Jordan recently posted..Records, Tapes and CDs, oh my!My Profile

  • Kathy, I am happy you have brought this subject up. Mental problems are what I call the “silent disease” because no one knows the deep emotions other people carry around. Love the impact of the video about the man putting the glasses on and actually understanding what goes on with the people you meet.
    Bottom line that I take away from this that we must be mindful not to judge! That brings us to peace of mind.
    Blessings,
    Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..A Day In The Life Of A “Life Coach”My Profile

  • Your efforts to bring awareness to the suffering and challenges of mental illness are greatly appreciated. Anything we can do to lessen the stigma will hopefully lead to more folks seeking effective help while also giving them a more accepting environment (society at large) in which to heal.

    Thank you for mentioning the video I had posted on Facebook. I thought it was a brilliant way to show how simple it would be if only we would re-frame a negative experiencE
    Carol Fishelman-Rosen recently posted..Holiday Season: Thoughts For Food. 12/2011My Profile

  • Thank you Kathy Your efforts to bring awareness to the suffering and challenges of mental illness are greatly appreciated. Anything we can do to lessen the stigma will hopefully lead to more folks seeking effective help while also giving them a more accepting environment (society at large) in which to heal.

    Thank you for mentioning the video I had posted on Facebook. I thought it was a brilliant way to show how simple it would be if only we would re-frame our negative experience and judgments of others. When we put a positive light on a negative thought, feeling, reaction, we improve the quality of our own, and others, lives on a multitude of levels.
    Carol Fishelman-Rosen recently posted..Holiday Season: Thoughts For Food. 12/2011My Profile

    • Hi Carol – Thanks so much for your kind words. I just love that video you posted. It has so many levels of meaning. It says so much without explanation. I am excited that you are working to help others manage their anxiety and emotional eating.
      Good luck! Kathy

  • Thank you for the reminder, Carol. We never know what people are going through. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathy,

    Maybe we should “tag-team” more intentionally some day! This post was so powerful, and the video was amazing. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for highlighting how important it is to take mental health issues seriously.

    Warmly,
    Ann
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Celebration GiveawayMy Profile

  • Hi Ann –

    thanks for the kind words! Your post just touched the idea of the man with glasses video immediately. I loved your post as well, the words “Invisible Pain” are very powerful and true. I think I will be tag-teaming more intentionally now, as there seems to be invisible connections among the blogs!
    take care, Kathy
    Kathy Morelli recently posted..Invisible Pain – Mental IllnessMy Profile

  • Hi Kathy,
    This is such a good message–be kind, and you are not alone. Thanks for working to raise awareness of mental illness and how easy it is to get treatment if you reach out.
    Carolyn Stone recently posted..Baby StepsMy Profile

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