Can a hidden illness be as difficult to deal with as a psychiatric illness?


A Hidden Illness

Brenda once told me; “I suffer from lupus and people say; ‘Oh, it’s only lupus. It’s not a big deal,’  but it’s  not easy to live with. People assume that I’m healthy and happy because they can’t see it. But that’s because of the mask I wear when amongst people.”

“Underneath the mask, there is another layer; the one that cries and hurts when I go through difficult periods. When one lives with a chronic illness, some days are worse than others. I know people with other invisible illnesses and they suffer the way I do, too. There is no point in complaining now, is there? But I don’t feel well and lupus most definately makes me different from other people.”

Brenda once told me; “Allowing an invisible illness to show, is akin to standing naked in a crowd of well-dressed people.”

A psychiatric illness

 L said; “People call me all sorts of names when they discover that I have been in a psychiatric hospital. Even if this occurs frequently, I are still the same person I always was. The only difference is that I am ill. So, I try not to take too much notice of the name-calling, but it’s not easy to ignore.”

L continued; “During a psychotic episode, I don’t behave the same way I did previously but my doctor reminds me that this is only a temporary spell. Today’s medications do help me somewhat and I try to ignore the labels that thoughtless people attach to me.”

“People shouldn’t judge me by what I say and do when I am having a psychotic period because  I am still the same person. I may be many things to an onlooker but inside, I am still me.”

“During my treatment I came across an empathetic psychologist who told me something that I will never forget and which helped me through the worst time of my life.”You are a gift in a world needing gifts. You deserve the same opportunities as the rest of us. You deserve a miracle in a world that might no longer believe in miracles. Remember that you can care and be cared for, touch and be touched, laugh, cry, live and love. You can be alone or with others, feel scared or brave, and that’s okay too.”

If only there were more psychologists like this around, life would be easier for so many people.

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