I think it is part of human existence to keep going for as long as we can despite how we feel inside and look upward and not focus on the inside turmoil and anguish that is present more and more. So, although the people we meet on a regular basis or run into every so often appear to have it altogether, they too may be putting their best face forward when they too want to be in the very corner we have had to just pick ourselves up from to keep moving forward in life.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all the same, we all have our ups and downs along with many struggles. Just because you may be a Psychiatrist and another person work for Wendy's does not mean that you do not struggle any more or any less with your mental health. No one is immune to suffering. Often times where the stigma lies is within the health profession unfortunately because these people "should" have it together with community standards. These people tend to suffer in silence longer it seems.
So if a person doesn't look sick then how are they sick then? Well there are lots of sicknesses out there that are easier to hide then some. A cold or the flu is harder to hide as it has visible symptoms where you can see the person is suffering. Some headaches are a bit easier to hide then a migraine. A sore foot can be played off if the person is good at it but if it is really sore then it is harder to pretend nothing is wrong. A broken foot... you might as forget it with trying to say all is okay as you limp around with a heavy cast on your foot. A muscle twitch is sometimes easier to play off than a seizure in the body. What would you tell these people with physical ailments in order to get better? I bet it would be rest and go easy on yourself, making sure you do things when you feel your body is able to do them and not push yourself.
What about sicknesses that affect us mentally? These are often less visible and often the symptoms of the reason the problem can be seen. The symptoms is what what people typically see: the crying or teary eyes, the blank state, the forgetfulness, the poor concentration, the shift in mood, having issues coping with small tasks. Normally people who have not experienced any sort of mental illness would tell these people to pull up their socks and enjoy life, if only they were to get out more and smile then things would be better, to get off their rears and go do something with their lives rather then faking it to not have to work the rest of their lives.
I have heard people tell me in the past if only I believed that I would get better then I would, that my mental illness would go away. That I was not thinking positive enough and working hard enough in my recovery process. This is enough to want to slap the person in their face because they do not live in a mind that has mental illness day in and out and they do not understand the trails that one has to go through daily in order to face the world. I am one of the strongest people that I know who has battled and tried daily to overcome things. Some people are so insensitive and offer advice where it is not ask for, and these are one of the times.
So before you judge someone because they don't look sick, have compassion for them because chances are the other 10 that have walked by them thought the same thing "They don't look sick" or don't need to be shown compassion. It would be a better world if everyone shown each other compassion without feeling the need to because people look ill.
*stepping off my soap box for the day*