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Invisible Illness, Depression, and Speaking Out ~ Guest Post by Erika Morgan

It’s time to ‘stamp out stigma’ placed upon people with mental illnesses…Speak out for those who feel they cannot speak out for themselves.

The following article, as with the two guest posts before it, began as a heart-felt facebook post that resonated with friends and patients quickly.  As with those previous two, it warranted additional circulation and preservation (with some overlapping themes, purposes, and encouragements as well).  It is posted here with the express permission of the author and only minor alterations into an article-friendly format.

By Erika Morgan (Published with permission)

My Summer came with so many more “downs” than “ups”. It became so overwhelming I pulled back from talking hardly to anyone. But I needed to “recharge my batteries” so to speak. Thankfully, I finally feel like I’m coming up for a breath of fresh air. Thank you for all who are praying for me because I know that is the reason I made it through the Summer and into Fall. My body seems to really dread this time of year. Not because of the trivial “ugh the weather is getting horribly cold and I don’t like it”, but because it makes my body hurt more and my emotions plummet. I deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder along with all the other health and mental health issues I deal with. If you haven’t heard of S.A.D., I encourage you to do some research because it’s more common than you think.

Since I am bringing this up, People don’t “choose” to feel depressed. Depression is different than the sadness every human experiences. Depression is a lot of times due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Other reasons include past or current trauma, illness(es), an unhealthy living or work environment, etc.

People who are diagnosed with depression or any type of other mental illness often get looked down upon like they are “less than”. It’s time to “stamp out stigma” placed upon people with mental illnesses that include, but are not limited to: Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders and Suicidality. People with mental illnesses do not need people to treat them as a label. They, no, WE need support. So please take this moment to pray for those who deal with these illnesses that don’t discriminate.

I did not intend to write such a long post especially about mental illnesses and the need for people to support those people who have to deal with these illnesses every second of every day. It just came as I typed. All I planned to do was give a quick update, but when I feel God telling me to post more about something, I do not and will not hesitate. I refuse to.

Because people NEED to know the truth whether it is hard to hear or not. I need the support of people around me and the only way I can get that is by letting people know what is truly going on. All the chronic physical illnesses I deal with, especially the inflammation in all areas of my brain caused by Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Chronic Neuro Lyme (for which a cure has yet to be found), and PTSD obviously has had an affect on me emotionally.

I pray you won’t see me as my illnesses, but as who God truly made me to be- MYSELF. Please get to know me for my character and not for my illnesses. I really need people to do this so that I won’t be overtaken by my struggles.

I need to have something in my life other than my own issues. But I need the help of other people if I’m going to get out of this deep pit I’m in. So PLEASE, help me. Or let me know of someone with an illness or illnesses that you ARE helping so that I can be happy for them and add them to my prayers.

That’s all I ask. That you don’t forget about those of us with chronic illnesses and especially those with invisible illnesses. Because we already feel alone enough as it is. Thank you to those who have read this whole status update. I used the very little energy I have because I can’t stay silent about that which needs to be discussed in today’s society. Especially regarding things as sensitive as mental illness. I ask that you will do the same.

Speak out for those who feel they cannot speak out for themselves.

Originally posted on Facebook on October 3, 2015

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