|Mentally Ill live in quiet shame, anger or pain|
No one wants to find themselves with a mental illness. Symptoms disrupt careers, social lives and family relationships. Treatment plans can be a series of trials and errors. Developing tolerance to medications that once worked add more frustration to the process.
Besides dealing with the stigma of mental illness, there are the issues of how to incorporate yourself into society and not face harsh labeling or being ostracized.
Beyond all of the obvious symptoms, the doctors and the treatments, many mentally ill patients lead a secret life that only they know or other people they know with mental illness understand.
Even high functioning people with mental illness will find themselves alone during the course of a day and left with simply their thoughts and feelings. It is during those times that painful feelings can surface. Some of the mentally ill report feelings of shame. They crave to be normal. They don't want this curse that their body and mind has given them.
Others have feelings of anger, "Why me? I didn't ask for this God."
It's a pain that is quiet. At times, it boils over and tears fall without any signs of abating. I know. I've been there.
On Thanksgiving, I felt so out of place, I went in the basement of my sister's house, stared at the TV and cried.
I've been separated from my 10 year old daughter for almost a year and a half. She lives in Las Vegas and I was moved to Cleveland so my family could care for me. I miss her. My emotional moments are private, alone at night and uncontrollable.
My friends in support groups have expressed similar experiences. Some are shameful, some are mad, some are just confused - but those deep feelings are held close in their hearts.
Unless a friend or family member catches you in the throes of a breakdown or emotional moment, they'll never know. They won't question the pile of tissues in the waste basket. The redness in your eyes is probably the result of a bad night's sleep or just being tired. They don't know the truth.
It's hard enough dealing with the symptoms, treatments and therapies of mental illness. But this quiet pain is probably the hardest part. A good psychologist can help you work through it. But it never seems to go away.
Even though your friend or family member may seem like they are doing well, managing their mental illness, the mentally ill live lives of quiet shame, anger or pain.
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