Unseen Illness a Prejudice of Perception
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Health
One of the sad facts of American life is that a lot of Americans live a
life through visible perception. They tend to look at the surface facts
(the six o'clock news view) rather than the underlying truths around
them. If we see somebody in a wheelchair, we presume that they have a
serious illness, but if we see someone with two healthy arms and two
healthy legs, we assume that they are perfectly healthy.
It is this perception that leads to many prejudices against people
who have serious illness that may not show on the surface. It is not
seen on the surface therefore it must not exist. One such example is
people who suffer from depression. While on the surface these people
may seem completely whole and normal, inside their body and mind are
going through complete turmoil. Furthermore, we assume that people with
depression because they have a "mental illness" must be crazy and
should be feared, scorned and otherwise shunned from society as
Depression although classified as a mental illness is as much a
physical illness as it is a mental illness. Scientists believe that one
of the main causes of depression is a chemical imbalance between
serotonin levels in the brain. Although mood changes and times of
feeling sad are not uncommon and should not be feared when it comes to
a point where the person cannot control it and it last for long periods
of time (more then two weeks) then the help of a professional should be
Often, this imbalance can be treated with medication and often
people who suffer from depression can find relief relatively quickly
through this means. Also counseling can give the sufferer of depression
many tools to help combat the depression. This will help the depressed
person deal with their depression and may make medication less
necessary or unnecessary altogether. Often the two working together in
balance with each other will give the depressed person a good deal of
relief from the pain they are suffering from.
Often, it will be a relatively brief period of time that the person
will need both medication and or therapy. In more severe cases where
the depressed person has probably been depressed for years and has not
known it, it can take years of therapy and medication to help the
depressed person be able to deal with their illness. It is helpful for
one to understand that the depression is not only a mental illness, but
a physical illness too.
Depression hurts as much physically, as it does mentally, a pain
that one cannot escape from, it can leave many depressed persons
feeling severely vulnerable. Many depressed people feel very helpless,
misunderstood, and very isolated. It is useful for somebody who has
loved one that suffers from depression to help them feel that they are
worthy, valued and an important part of their life.
It is useful also to understand that the depression affects the
depressed person on every level and every aspect of their life is to be
compassionate, understanding, and extremely supportive. Understand the
depressed person is trying to seek a way out as much as you are for
them but they are in extreme pain and often their vision is clouded.
Do not come off as knowing all the answers this often just insults
their intelligence, it is most helpful to act as a guide to help the
depressed person find the answers they need to find within themselves.
It is not uncommon for the depressed person to have had some traumatic
event they cannot seem to come to terms with that sets up a conflict in
their subconscious and is to painful to face.
Also never confuse lack of motivation, lack of seaming to care or
outward signs of wise choices with lack of intelligence; many depressed
people are highly intelligent overachievers that are deeply passionate,
caring people. It is often this strive for perfection that causes some
of the depression as the person begins to become frustrated with not
reaching their lofty goals and begins to think that this is some
personal weakness or flaw that they have inside themselves.
Do you realize that one of our most beloved story tellers suffered from severe depression Mark Twain.