Invisibly Ill

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Photo Credit: blog.pennlive.com

As you walk into the Emergency Room, you notice a man coughing. He is coughing so hard you just know he will hack up his lungs any minute now.

To your left are some kids. One has a bag of ice wrapped in a towel over her right eye. The older boy, who appers to be her older brother has a golf ball sized knot over his left eye. 

Amongst the sea of ER waiting room people, there is no denying why they are present. But you walk in and check yourself in.  You have a seat and immediately you feel out of place.

There are dozens of people who have been waiting for hours before you even set foot into the building. However, you are the next name called into the triage room. The waiting area erupts with anger and profanity.

Why is SHE going before ME?! 
WTF?!, I’ve been here for HOURS!!
I  simply don’t understand.

The chatter continues as you close the triage room door and sit in the cold hard blue chair against the wall. You confirm your name and date of birth. The nurse asks for the reason of your visit to the Emergency Room, and you respond…

“I just want the pain to end.  I am tired of being depressed. I have a full bottle of pain pills in my purse and I debated with myself for the past two hours if I should take them all or go to the ER.  Well,  here I am.”

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Photo Credit: blogoftheboss.com

There are plenty of people who are depressed all across the world. The pain they feel may never be known to others, but it is real. Some depressed people look and act as if nothing is wrong when mixing and mingling amongst society, but behind closed doors the tears stream down their faces. Their homes may be neglected. They may over eat or not eat at all.  There may be sleepless nights or binge sleeping every weekend.

It’s not socially acceptable to fall apart in front of your peers, co workers, or strangers. You are supposed to “keep it together” and “not let your personal life blend in with your work/school life.” This has brought a great deal of people to a place of having to cope alone.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

No one should have to remain “invisibly ill.” Take the necessary measures to help someone who you know is depressed.  If anyone ever asks you if you have a second, they just want to talk…DROP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN!! If that’s not possible get a general idea of what’s going on and maybe you could schedule some time to listen later.

Most of the time people just need someone to listen to their story. That is the best way to help, and get the ball rolling to recovery. If you do not feel you can help, let them know you are there for them and you will help them get through the depression.  You can help them search for counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups. If they need you for support and to accompany them to appointments, do so. That would help greatly.

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Photo Credit: climate.gov

It might be  a long road…but having someone concerned about your mental health can make the journey better.

Here are some tips from the National Institute of Mental (NIMH) and a link to the NIMH website…

To help your friend or relative

•Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.

•Talk to him or her, and listen carefully.

•Never dismiss feelings, but point out realities and offer hope.

•Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.

•Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.

•Provide assistance in getting to the doctor’s appointments.

•Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

National Institute of Mental Health Website

**Disclaimer: I am not doctor or any other healthcare professional. I am simply a blogger who is greatly concerned for the mental health of others. If you or someone you know is depressed follow the links to the National Institute of Mental Health for more information on depression.**

K. A. Smith

K. A. Smith

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