Stigma About Mental Illness

Stigma about mental illness keeps many people from seeking treatment. Out f fear of social isolation, discrimination and misunderstanding due to their invisible illness, people fear the diagnosis and the permanent label to be fixed upon them.

There are many kinds of mental illness that are very different from each other.

People that have had incidents of severe depression are obviously not a danger to others, but being labeled with “mental illness” means that the same stigma will apply to them as to everyone else with a history of mental illness.

A former soldier who has had PTSD in the past, still carries the “history of mental illness” red flag in his records.

You hear the phrase “has a history of mental illness” on the news when some psychopath kidnaps a child. You hear this same phrase when a psychpathic 17 year old guns down his fellow students in the hallways of the school.

Just because someone “has a history of mental illness” does not make them a bad person, nor does it make them violent. This stigma is unrealistic and unfair to many people.

This stigma keeps many people from seeking treatment they need.

Once that label is on someone’s record, it is like it is etched in stone. It can ne brought out and others can even use it to undermine people that they have ulterior motives to destroying.

The general population is poorly educated about mental illness. Some people suffer for years and do not even realize that their depression or anxiety disorder could be treated.

They just know that something is wrong but they do not have enough background aboit different kinds of mental issues, to understand when depression changes from regular depression to a depressive disorder that is serious.

Parents are not educated about teen mental illness, and many parents cannot recognize a serious mental health problem. Teen suicides that could be prevented are a tragedy.

High schools do not have classes on basic mental health. The students are forced to spend hours learning certain things they will never use in their lifetime, but critical life topics like mental illness or safe dating is not covered in the curriculum.

Over 25 percent of people will have some form of serious mental suffering during their lifetimes.

Why is it that education about mental health is not given any consideration by the government or the school systems?

Why does the media continue to perpetuate misinformation that is devastating to individuals with mental health dosorders?

The heads of the government have an agenda that does not contain any feelings of empathy or common sense.

1 in 25 people is a psychopath or a malignant toxic narcissist. These are the people that are a danger to others.

But they have a talent to put on a facade of  charm and to appear “normal.”  By enabling fingers to be pointed at people “with a history of mental illness” …the psychopathic leaders are able to continue to blend in.

Lower level psychopaths endanger the invisibity of the high functioning ones. When these lower level psychopaths commit crimes, the media spouts that the person has “a history of mental illness.”

The truth that psychopaths blend into the crowd and are able to function undetected by people, is something that is covered up.

Instead of the news saying the truth, which is…

“This man raped three women. He is a psychopath. “…

..They are obligated to say …

“This man raped three women. He has a history of mental illness. ”

This veil of illusion is permeated throughout society and constantly reinforced by conditioning of the minds of the public.

 

Ten Messages About Self Care and Self Love

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1. Self care and kindness.

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2. It is okay to need things.

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3. You deserve to have things that you want, just like everyone else does.

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4. It is not selfish to prioritize your emotional and mental health, over what other people want.

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5. You are not “the only” person who can help someone, no matter what tell you. With the exception of your children under your cate, other people can and will find someone else to help them if you need to tell them NO.

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6. It is okay to tell people NO, if you do not want to do something. Notice how many times they have helped you or not helped you. Some people always take from others and never give. Save your energies for someone who will really appreciate you.

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image from Pinterest HERE

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7. You can and should be comfortable in your surroundings. Taking time to declutter your bedroom and set things up nicely is a good use of your time. If you need to give out a few NO’s to people who are sucking your time….then do so.

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8. Sleep is not wasted time. Sleep is a necessary altered state of our consciousness. Part of our life is existing on that alternate plane of reality. It integrates your conscious mind with your subconscious.

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9. Eat from all the food groups. Think ahead about planning your food for the week and include healthy snacks. Low blood sugar causes brain fog, confusion, memory problems and fatigue.

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10. You are equally worthy and valuable to anyone else on the planet. Negative “self talk” is actually bad programming and corruption of your brain software, put in like a malicious virus by emotionally abusive people.

Invisible Illness and Managing Your Home

Depression ,  anxiety disorders and  PTSD interfere with daily life, including keeping up with normal tasks and chores. Some days it is hard to get out of bed, or even leave the house.

Chronic pain and chronic illnesses also make it difficult to do some tasks and impossible to do others. Some people have a good support system of people to help them, and other people do not have anyone to help them. 

How many of you can relate to this post I came across on Facebook? Please leave your feelings and thoughts in the comments section below. 

 

house keeping

image by KneeSocksFetishRox ...see link on facebook here 

Depression, Loneliness and Invisible Illness

Depression and loneliness can exist together, but they are not exactly the same thing.

Loneliness is something experienced by all people at some point but it is not always accompanied by depression.

Usually loneliness is thought of as occurring when people are alone,  but this is not always true either.

Some people experience loneliness in combination homesickness , when they are away from familiar people and surroundings. They can feel this even when there are people around.

Other people feel like they do not fit in and this leads to lonliness with people around. Some people feel more lonely around groups of people than they do when they are by themselves.

There are other circumstances where people experience lonliness with other people around. Some of these circumstances tend to cause a co-existing condition of depression and lonliness.

People with invisible illnesses like chronic pain, chronic illness, and mental illness often feel both lonliness and depression. There is a feeling of disconnection from others when someone cannot find anyone that can relate to what they are going through.

Toxic loneliness is something that happens to people that cannot tolerate being alone or cannot tolerate bring without an intimate partner.

Ross Rosenberg coined the term “pathological loneliness” when he was doing research with his clients that suffered from co-dependence.

He discovered that one of the reasons so many people go back into abusive relationships is the pathological loneliness.

Both the terms toxic loneliness and pathological loneliness refer to this intolerable pain associated with being alone.

Usually the abusive partner lures the victim back in with false promises that things will be different. The victim who is suffering from such severe emotional / mental distress from being alone takes their chances and goes back.

In the mind of the victim, the pathological loneliness and the depression that goes along with it, is more painful than the abuse was.

People with codependent personalities usually developed pathological lonliness as children from neglect and abuse.

Depression can also develop out of childhood abuse. This can be any type of abuse, including emotional and psychological abuse. People that were abused as children often have complex post traumatic stress disorder as adults.

C-PTSD can involve depression, anxiety and sometimes pathological loneliness. There are often internal mental tapes that play inside their head that repeat negative things.

Being alone can make the internal dialogue louder. Thoughts of worthlessness, shame and failure play over and over. These tapes are implanted in the subconscious during childhood by others.

Many people with C-PTSD do not realize that they have actual trauma that is the same as PTSD which was caused at multiple ages and multiple circumstances.

Many people who have mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder had chaotic, traumatic, abusive or emotionally devaluing childhoods.

People with depression have organic differences in their brains which can be seen with brain scans like an MRI. Certain parts of the brain that are supposed to light up to show activity, do not light up.

Depression can also co-exist with anxiety disorders. The sensations of imminent threat that occur with PTSD and CPTSD, can be felt alongside of depression and loneliness.

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate one feeling from another. It can be helpful to people to be able to identify what sensations they are feeling.

Sometimes looking at the feelings and figuring out what is based on current circumstances and what is from early programming can help.

People with disorders of depression often feel lonely because they are unable to find people to understand their illness. Being disbelieved and invalidated can open up old wounds from childhood.

Some people are unaware that they had any abuse or emotional trauma because it happened at a very young age. The brain stores memories differently before the age of five.

Conditions like depression and toxic loneliness are no less painful than other illnesses. Unfortunately many people are not empathetic about invisible illnesses.

Your reality and your experience with suffering is your own, and it is valid. Healing can begin with validating yourself and being open to the root causes of your feelings. 

Chronic Pain and Spiritual Health

Living with chronic pain is difficult emotionally and mentally.

Every aspect of your life is affected and you have to adapt each and every day based on the level of pain. It is difficult for other people to understand. 

Sometimes you have to cancel plans or leave places early. You may need help doing things or walking up the stairs. Fatigue haunts you like a malicious ghost that no one can see but you. It is an invisible illness that can be cruel and make you feel lonely. 

You know that other people have chronic pain also, but you still feel like you are the only one much of the time.

Days spent struggling to do the simplest tasks drain you physically and emotionally. No one can see your pain and it is hard to find any validation for what you are going through. 

Your social circle may have dwindled down to the last few who are willing to be understanding. Some of you are completely isolated from friends and even family has moved on without you. People get tired of hearing someone complain about their invisible illness. 

Some people think you are just trying to get attention.

This is backwards because chronic pain tends to have to opposite effect of getting attention. Many people do not realize this. 

Isolation has its own negative effects on your psychological state. Depression falls down over you like a dark cloud. There are days when you just stay in bed because the pain is too great….both emotionally and physically.

Chronic pain can be caused by all kinds of things.

Arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal problems, diseases, and chronic illnesses. Pain can be mostly localized to certain parts of the body, or change locations from day to day. The mental pain is always a part of living with chronic pain….possible the worst part. 

Finding connection with other people can be difficult, but it is important for you not to feel alone. Feeling isolated and alienated for a continues period of time will wear on you and drain you. Your soul needs to heal and you need to feel special. 

Old emotional wounds can be triggered by depression and anxiety.

Feeling alone with pain can bring up emotional flashbacks from your past. Many people with chronic pain have some kind of ghosts from their past that haunt them. The feeling of being invalidated may be something you also felt in your childhood. 

The inner child that was not heard is now left alone and invalidated again.

Being alone with the emotional wounds feels like torment. Since you feel that people are already tired of hearing you express your feeling about your physical pain, you may be hesitant to talk about old emotional wounds with anyone. 

You struggle to survive each day, and you may push those emotional wounds deep down inside you. The pain will get worse from doing this, but it is hard to find any other way to survive.

Pain gets worse with depression, and depression gets worse with pain. 

You are more than your chronic pain condition.

You are not your body and you are not your thoughts. You are so much more than those things. The world has a way of confusing us about who we really are. 

You may not feel like it, because your life feels like it revolves around it. You had other plans for your life than living this way.

The unfairness of this can make you feel hopeless and question your purpose for living. You feel limited in the amount of things you can do for others. 

But you are worth as much as everyone else. It is the soul and spirit of you that has innate value.

Your value is not based of what you can or cannot do. The uniqueness of your mind, heart are limitless.

We can be broken and bruised, but we are resilient. Your resilience comes from your higher self… the self that does not live in the body and is not limited to the physical self.

Love is an unstoppable force of energy that exists all around you. You are surrounded by invisible energies that are yours to draw from Self love is an important step to emotional and mental healing. 

Self Esteem for People with Depression and Anxiety Disorder

Invisible Illness and Isolation

Invisible suffering..Invisible illness…Invisible pain…Chronic illness….Mental suffering…Domestic abuse…Mental abuse..Narcissistic Victim Abuse Syndrome…PTSD…Chronic Pain…

These are all real illnesses and disorders, that other people cannot see. It can be hard for other people to understand what it is like for you. The lack of people supporting  you…or even believing you …causes re-traumatization.

There is the initial trauma of the illness, pain, or abuse and then there is a whole new kind of painful suffering caused by what happens next.

People do not see your suffering and so..

…some people do not believe you at all..

…they do not believe that it is that bad..

…they think you can just “shake it off”…

…they do not believe that you cannot do the things that they can easily do.

…they think you are lazy…

…they think you are a big baby…

..they  think you should have gotten better by now..

…they forget that you “still have” that invisible illness…

…they get tired of hearing the same things…

..they lose patience with you..

…you do not want to tell people..

…you lose friends…

..You self isolate…

Yes, that is often what ends up happening. Self isolating can be a relief from dealing with interactions with people. Over time the isolation can cause worse depression. 

The only people who really understand are people who have been through it or are going through it. 

The isolating process can begin with other people giving up on you, getting tired of you, or not wanting to listen to you anymore. You lose one ot two friends and family members. The you are afraid to lose the rest of them. 

You do not actively go out and seek new people because you fear the pain of rejection from them. “Why should you put yourself through this again”….is what your brain is saying.

The isolating can begin with ourselves, because it is too much effort or too painful to interact with other people, especially if they do not believe or understand what we are going through.

The retraumatization can be severe. When people just simply do not believe you or think you are exaggerating, that is one of the worst things you can go through.

Then, of course,  there are people who are predators, and they prey on the weak ones, who are desperate for understanding and companionship. If you have been set up and abused, because of your invisible condition, then it is very difficult to trust people again…or to trust your own judgement of who is safe and who is not.

We can also be retraumatized by bad therapists, counselors and insensitive doctors and nurses. I have heard horror stories of what people have gone through at treatment facilities, rehab facilities and emergency rooms. I have also experienced insensitive therapists and healthcare workers.

So where does this leave us? In pain…suffering…in need of human compassion…and isolated…

Some people physically isolate themselves in their homes. Other people build walls up around themselves and self isolate by disconnecting from other humans emotionally.

We can be around people all day long, yet be completely alone.

Some people cannot leave their house or apartment.

Other people just leave the house to go to work, and do necessary errands, and then self isolate themselves in their house, the rest of the time. This would be me…

When you have reached your limit of being traumatized and re-traumatized, then your mammalian instinct of self protection is going to kick in. Your brain wants to protect itself from any more trauma and abuse.

Sometimes the world appears to be a dark and dangerous place.   Interact with people is just a risk of being injured, when you are suffering from an invisible enemy.

No one can see your enemy and therefore it feels like you are fighting alone.

You energy is going into fighting against your invisible illness, mental illness, or trauma from abuse. You do not have a whole lot of energy left for reaching out to people who might end up hurting you. You do not have a lot of energy to explain and re-explain to people about your invisible illness.

You do not have energy to make new friends, knowing that at some point you have to explain to them about your invisible enemy. There is no guarantee they will understand you or stick around once they find out, anyway.

Your energy is focused on survival. Your little bit of energy that is left, is focused on just getting through one day at a time. Relationships take time and energy and after a while it can seem like there simply is not enough energy to go around.

I do not have any simple answer for this problem. I wanted to at least validate the people who are nodding their heads up and down, as they are reading this.

You are not alone, in being alone. You may be alone in your house at this moment, feeling isolated and different than everyone else. But there are other people who feel the same way.

The isolating is a normal reaction to being traumatized, suffering mental wounds and suffering pain of any kind. It is an instinct to survive be separating from potential danger.

It is also an instinct to preserve whatever energy is left, in order to use to heal and survive.

If there is any approach to this problem that could work, it would lie in the matter of balance. We have to constantly balance the various aspects of our lives. Find new methodologies for healing and for dealing with stress.

We cannot have the same amount of energy every day. Some days we feel better than other days.

On our better days, we can try to reach out a little bit. Go somewhere with people or call someone on the phone. Text someone or send and email. Whatever is in your comfort zone for that particular day.

There will be days when interacting with others is impossible. But some days we might be able to reach out, just a little bit.

Do what you can and take advantage of any days that are kind of good. If you cannot go out, then try to find people online to connect with.

Who you should reach out to and talk to, depends on what is good for you. Some of you have friends that you can all on the phone. Some people would be able to go out to a place where there are strangers and interact a little bit with them.

Another way to get some compassionate human interaction, is to do some volunteer work. Nursing homes will often let you come and visit.

You may have to set things up, to be a volunteer ahead of time. The people you visit at places like this, will not judge you in the same ways that you are afraid of your friends or family judging you.

Going out of the house depends on your condition. Some people are completely housebound. Reaching out to those people can be a way of helping yourself too. 

Animals are also great. Pets are good companions. As you know, if you read my blog, I get great joy and comfort from my bunny. I also like to go to places with a animals.  There is a place called Sun High Orchard, near my house. They have bunnies and sheep that you can pet and feed.

Sometimes you can go to speciality stores where the people will talk with you. Some places like that would be: comic book stores, craft stores, tattoo parlors, hobby shops and book stores. Any place where people gather, that have a similar interest.

It is okay to self isolate to a point.  Sometimes we need to self isolate for a while to heal our brains. But if the isolation is becoming a problem for you, then do a little bit of interacting on the good days and just rest in bed on the harder days. Balance is the key to most problems in life.

We are supportive of each other here and WordPress has been a blessing for me. I love hearing from the people that follow my blog and I consider the interactions meaningful.

Blessings to all,

Annie

Physical Pain Should be Paid Attention To

Headaches, muscle aches, numbness, chest tightness, fatigue and weakness….

Insomnia, nervousness, trouble focusing your mind, trouble resting and relaxing….

Trouble eating, weight gain, extreme weight loss, chronic bowel problems, chronic pain….

People struggle through each day, dragging themselves out of bed. Dreading waking up in the morning, to endure another day of trying to keep other people from complaining.

Our reptilian brain ( triunal brain theory) is designed to protect us. The main function of this part of your brain is to protect you from danger. It is primal and the over-riding primal drive is for survival.

Anything the reptilian brain sees as a threat gets sent to the “fight or flight” system. This is where the amygdala activates the process of chemicals being sent throughout your body.

These chemicals include adrenaline and cortisol. The fight or flight mode was never designed for constant or continuos activation.

Stress filled lifestyle and anxiety disorders cause too much cortisol to be sent into the body , too often. This has detrimental affects on nearly every system in your body.

As you are reading this, you are thinking of your life and how a typical day goes for you. But that is the problem. ….

Society is so brainwashed that the phrase “how a typical day goes for you” makes sense and seems like a normal thing to say.

We should be able to compose our days, like a musical composer creates a symphony. We should have more freedom and more power to make our days the way we want them to be.

You should be spending your time thinking of new ideas, new concepts, new methods and original techniques to do things.

There is too much emphasis on “the way things have always been done.”

There are too many restrictions on our individuality, and our ability to try new ways to do things.

The “original thinkers”  are considered weird, non-compliant and “difficult,” even when their ideas are ingenious.

We are pressured to follow the ways of those who came before us, and the ways dictated by the  “powers that be.”

All of this ….forcing people into routines… and making us run on automatic pilot, has consequences.

….stress, anxiety disorders, depression, pain in both the body and the mind.

The body is what your spirit inhabits. Your soul has been assigned to live within this body .  But your body is not all of who you are, nor is it detached  from who you are.

Have you ever driven someplace, only to come to consciousness while you are driving, and not know where you are for a few seconds? Have you ever passed the turn to your destination because you had gone into a trance-like state while you were driving?

We were not designed to live in “automatic pilot”  mode …existing merely to repeat the same dull, or painful routines every day.

Even animals vary their routines. They adapt with their environment and respond to the needs of their bodies.

Your aches, pains and chronic fatigue are telling you that something is wrong. These are like emotions of the body.

Our emotions and our pains are speaking to us. If we cannot listen, and make changes….alter our patterns of living, then we will eventually develop illness and didease.

Listen to your pain and to your physical discomfort. Your body is trying to integrate with your mind, emotions and your soul. It is letting you know that the parts of your being are fractured.

Psychological problems manifest in the body. Physical illness and disease will cause psychological and mental pain. Our emotions tie everything together.

Be kind and compassionate with yourselves, and to others. There is no meaningless pain. It is all significant.

 

Blessings,

Annie

gentlekindnesscoachimg.com

 

Nothing but the Dark…

Suffering from a painful deteriorating illness and expressing the darkness with words of a wonderful writer.

 

aChronicPainLife...

I used to love the feeling you get when waking up from your worst nightmare – that moment  when you realise you’ve left the extreem anxiety and hopelessness behind and your eyes have come to a halt – when you can curl up all snug amongst the quilts and go back to sleep, knowing that when you wake everything will be okay.

Well, I’ve resounded myself to the fact this is a feeling I will never have again! The reality I’m in has become worse than any nightmare I’ve ever had and all hope is gone for making a recovery.  I’m tired of of it all. Each day is becoming more and more of a struggle and I’m not sure I have the strength to live a full life like this – one where darkness is my home and the view from the other side gets more appealing by the…

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Invisible Illness

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