Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Invisible Illnesses and Isolation

Most people would likely be astounded to find out how many people are living with invisible illnesses.  For the most part, these people are hidden from society and forgotten about.  Many people with invisible illnesses are able to function daily and go to work, and for the rest of the time they remain mostly isolated from the world.  It can be a very lonely place to be and often leads to feelings of hopelessness and desolation.

Invisible illnesses can be mental or physical in nature, but they both have something in common, the symptoms are not invisible at all to the sufferer.  They are very real.  Almost all of the symptoms end up with an exhausted person trying to stay positive on the other side.  It is not an easy existence for us sufferers who constantly have very real mental and physical barriers to face each day.  Many end up isolated from the world because so few people empathize and understand how horrible it can feel.

This is why there is so much stigma attached to mental health.  It is hard to understand something you can't see, I realize this, but unfortunately the average person does not look deeper than the surface of most things.  Those that do look deeper can truly see your suffering.  Many of us end up isolated because of judgment and a lack of understanding.  There are two ways we can go from here.  We can stop caring what others think, or we can do our best to make others understand our suffering.

You will hear the word 'awareness' attached to many different concepts, and this is a very human way to try and help others.  Create an awareness about something so that people will offer empathy and understanding rather than judgment and ridicule.  Go on social media and easily find thousands of people with pages and groups attempting to create awareness for whichever cause has affected them, or someone close to them.  This is wonderful when it comes to spreading empathy around the world.

The more awareness created about your affliction, the more 'normal' you begin to feel and the easier it is to share your issues with others so they can better understand you.  This is truly helping people come out of isolation.  The other option is to stop taking things personally and to stop worrying about what others think of you.  If you are good well intended human being, just be you and don't worry how others feel about you.  It's really none of our business what others think of us anyhow!

If you are struggling with and invisible illness and are feeling isolated, there is hope.  Start small and do little things to build on your strengths each day.  Meditate each day for however much time you can spare and relieve some of your conflicts in a quiet state.   All of these things will help to build your confidence and self esteem as well.  As these build you will find yourself wanting to come out of isolation and face the world a little more.  Take smalls steps, but take them!

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