The Hidden Face of Mental Illness

Posted on June 21, 2016

The problem is, we don’t know that. We don’t know what anyone else is going through. Sometimes, we don’t even know what our best friend, cousin, brother or mother is going through. Even if we did, their description and emotions would be concepts we just can’t grasp.

Mental illnesses don’t discriminate based on socioeconomic status, gender or race. It can befall anyone, for any reason, at any time, and they’ll hide it. They’ll hide it because they know our society thinks they don’t matter. We’ve been telling them that for years. Weird. Crazy. Odd. Quiet. Not normal. And we judge. We judge so much that they are unable to beat what seems inevitable to some of them.

Do yourself a favor today — better yet, do the person sitting next to you a favor today — and look in the mirror. Think back to your worst day, whether it was from depression, over the loss of a job, or mania from a significant other cheating. Whatever it was, just take yourself back to that moment.

Do you remember what your face looked like? When you looked in the mirror and saw someone you didn’t recognize? Perhaps your eyes were sunken in and puffy from your tears. Perhaps you had a face full of makeup, trying to hide your ills with a forced smile. Do you remember being afraid that your eyes would give it away? Turning with turmoil that was buried deep inside you, you could tell, but could others?

We’ve all had a day. A day where our baggage needed to be hidden and where our emotions needed to be subdued. But we could do it; it was just one day. For some, it’s not just one day. It’s not two days or a few days, not a week or even a month. It’s every single day. A mental battlefield every single day, possibly for your whole life. And when you impose your judgments and sneer at their faces, you undoubtedly make those days longer, harder, and you contribute to the loss of hope.

You can’t always see mental illness, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a face. Change your attitudes toward others around you. A smile of understanding on your face can help save the depression on theirs.

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Category(s):Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Prejudice / Discrimination

Source material from PsychCentral