Acceptance of Psychological Difficulties

Why does it seem like that society can accept if someone has visible pain from an injury they can visually see but they don't want to hear about someone who has psychological difficulties because of what trauma they can't visually see. It feels like the secret we had to keep as children we have to keep as adults because no one who isn't experiencing it can deal with what really happens to some of us. Does it feel like that to any of you?

28 Replies

  • I agree that noone who didn't experience it can fully realize what it's like.

    I think that invisible injuries are difficult for others to understand and acknowledge.

    There is also a stigma of psychological injuries...

  • Yes. So true. Thank you.

  • Society are a bit backwards when it comes to accepting invisible illnesses it is getting a bit better even family GP's don't fully understand it. I suffered over two years before I was diagnosed with PTSD and it was from an outside source not my GP! Not enough information is given to the public about invisible illnesses it should be made more aware to them after all cancer is why not this! A petition to governments should be made to make society more aware and to accept this is happening to hundred and thousands of people all over the world every day not kicked under the table like a dirty secret!!! X

  • So very true! The stigma is so very strong it feels impossible to break through! Its almost as strong as the notion that men (and boys) have to be tuff and not show emotion or need help otherwise they will appear weak! It could be we appear weak to all those who dont understand because of the fear of the unknown-on the most part they really dont know how to help us !!!! But with time and with more brave survivors telling thier stories we might break though the barriers!

  • Yes it is a very strong stigma. My friend came to visit me a few years ago and we told each other the stories of our lives. So when she left I started writing a story and while I was writing it I remembered what happened to me when I was younger and it answered a lot of questions about my life. I wrote a story within a story. Yet my husband was too afraid to read it and I believe he never will. I love him but all he can handle is two people did stuff to me. I accept his communication of boundaries but I wanted him to say after I finished writing the story a year later I wanted him to say I'll stay up all night reading it but he didn't say that. He would keep promising he would read it but he never would. I read some of it to my therapist and she said that I shouldn't publish it because I don't want to be known as abuse girl. Other people have shared what happened to them with friends, family etc and it doesn't go well. So I keep rewriting the story to make it so it's a family story but where do you draw the line in pretending everything is happy and wonderful in a story and sharing your true self. I mean it feels awful and it's true I probably really don't want my nephews, my cousins and others to know the truth. Would anyone in society really even care but rather I would have to suffer because of what these people did to me. It's just really awful. So this has been bothering me for a long time. I guess everyone just wants the happy story but so many of us have to live with reality and a lot of it isn't a happy story.

  • I understand, willingtoheal. I published a book about my story, and my sister has never read it, and many of my friends as well. That's tough to take!

  • I was in a bookstore one day trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I found the book Heal Your PTSD and realized that was me. I have had to figure out a lot of things myself. Even doctors have wanted to do procedures and I've said what are my other options. I do take their advice sometimes but not always. So many things especially psychological related I've had to figure out on my own. I'm now educating doctors when I go to them. Yes I wish there was more acceptance from society but instead there is so much judging of families. So I'm glad we have each other.

  • How did you find that book? I am thinking of using it myself.

  • I was in a Vroman's bookstore. It is called Heal Your PTSD Dynamic Strategies that Work by Michele Rosenthal. I think she is the person that started this forum.

  • Thank you for what you wrote. I accidentally pushed the wrong button and put my response under positiveandcalm. So thank you.

  • Hi

    I really do understand what you mean, as I still don't think people like to talk about their feelings.

    How often do people say, 'hi, you ok?' And not want a truthful answer! Not that most people in passing would reply in full.

    I also suffer from Fibromyaligia, which like ME and MS doesn't really have any outward signs, other than shaking every so often. What it does cause is a lot of pain all over the body. People don't realise that just because you look 'OK', you might be suffering!

    Things are getting better though, for all that. We and children are learning to open up and we have the web now and sites like this. It's not all bad.

    Take care and best wishes.

  • Thanks for what you just shared. That reminds me in college when people would pass by and say hey how are you doing and I would say awful. They would say that's great because they weren't listening. LOL ahhhh. I'm glad we have this site. Yes exactly. If people can't see it they don't understand it or even know it exists. Take care too.

  • I agree. That's why we're lucky we live now, when we have the technology to share our thoughts on sites like this.

    It's also good to write you feelings down, so I'm told.

    Which is what we have to do on here.

    Everything helps.

    Take care and good luck. 😊👍

  • Yes it is true. Writing out how I feel really helps and sharing how I feel helps and I don't feel so alone. Thanks.

  • That's good 👍😊

  • It wasnt a mistake to put it to positoveandcalm-i appreciated getting it! And wanted to share that i know someone who wrote a book about her stuggles with and during the years of her sons leukemia. She wrote it under a penname. For years no one knew it was her! But it was a story of hope! It was factual and granted it had little 'good parts' there is no point pretending! I always believed that when it comes from the heart it reaches the heart!

    Go fo it! we'd love to read it and it would be good for you!

    Good luck!

    Speakibg of answering a quick passing ' how are you'- i asked someone this question and he answered awful. I replyed sympathetically. He then said that hes been doing this little experiment and from all the many ppl he responded to this way most didnt hear him but only a few acyually stopped really listen and offer human understanding! We live in such a rushed society- no ones got time or patience to feel! But we are feeling and caring human beings and it is wonderful to share that-ever so slowly it might melt the hearts of those who cant or arent up to our level of awareness to FEEL.

  • Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Totally agree. This has always really bothered me. I always wish other people in my life could know how I struggle due to what I've been through but it's all on the inside and invisible.

    It's difficult to be judged the same as everyone else when coming from PTSD.

  • Thank you. I write out how I feel during the week and I put my thoughts in a ziploc bag. Then I take it to therapy and then talk about it. So that works for me. I do have a friend that used to work as a social worker that I can write her letters and when I talk to her in person she fully understands me. I've told my sister some things but it is so hard for her to hear what happened. I think she feels guilty because she didn't notice what was going on but I told her it's not her fault because I was a kid I couldn't explain it to her because I didn't understand it at the time. So but since I didn't remember what happened to me until 3 years ago it is so hard that I can't share my true self with the person I wish I could share it with. It's so hard because I'm not the same person I feel so different now emotionally. So yes it's so hard that most people just want to live in happy land all the time but I'm thankful for all of you because omg it's so hard and we understand each other. Yes I feel invisible too in my everyday life sometimes.

  • There is a site called Bringchange2Mind that is all about ending the stigma associated with mental illness. Actress Glenn Close started it as she has a sister who is bipolar. You might want to check it out. It is encouraging,

  • Thank you. I will.

  • Brilliant point you raised, willingtoheal. I understand the stigma involved with PTSD which I think is what drives us to forums like this one in order to share our stories... it's sad we cannot often share it with those around us. For me I just don't want it to DEFINE me and I don't want people to think, oh look, there is that girl who has had such a rough go, and she now has some mental illness/condition. I want people to see beyond that to my talents and other qualities but I am realistic in thinking that often times people can be one dimensional especially acquaintances and colleagues, and see you in a particular cookie-cutter way.

    For example, yesterday my partner wanted to go out for dinner with his work colleagues and it was very triggering (I eventually said no). These work colleagues are not particularly close friends, but my partner feels obligated because he works with this guy every day and relies on him for rides to the job site. So because I am not working and I am in therapy and can't drink because of my medication, I don't want to sit there in the restaurant and explain a) why I can't drink b) why I am unemployed c) why we can't afford to pay for our own meal and d) what's going on in my life right now, because let's face it do ya REALLY want to know?

    I know that it's not all about me and it should be easy to just deflect and sit there and talk about other things, but I feel too fragile to field the inevitable questions that come up in polite conversation. So I chose to nurture myself and say, no, I need this time for me, and I am not going to let anyone derail that no matter what society or people think.

    And as fibropop says- we got each other :) xo love and light

  • That was great of you that you chose what you needed for yourself. On one hand I like that no one knows what happened to me. Except in a safe place like a therapy office and in this site. Yet it took me a year to write a story within a story using elements of my life. I guess I need to think of a safe person to send it to. I actually deleted a lot of it but will have to go back and write it again. I understand wanting people to see me for my other talents but it feels so awful to not be known. It's just really hard. I know there is a lot of judgement with the stigma. It's just hard on many levels. Recently I was in a situation where I went into fright freeze and no one had ever seen me go into that before I usually go into that by myself. I felt more emotionally close to that person than I had ever felt in my whole life. Recently my husband saw me do that and he said my name and I snapped out of it but it's just hard. So good for you for thinking about what you need. Take care and thanks. Yes we have each other.

  • It's so true, littletraveller.

    I have been withdrawn from social life for a bit because of those questions. I felt like a loser each time the conversation was about the usual - job, status, vacations etc. I felt it was so unfair that I came across as "less than" because I didn't have much in my eyes to show for. But I knew that I had value and it felt better if I didn't compare myself at that time to others.

  • Me too. I feel the same way. Sometimes it feels like everyone around me has it all figured out. Yet I know that they haven't dealt with what I have. I'm remembering more and more lately. Glad for clarity but it's hard. Yet I feel lucky to have survived it. So with what all of us have been through we are so strong, we are survivors, it's amazing we are all still here. So we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. The only one that's giving me a trip or a lecture is myself. So I can totally relate.

  • In my own experience, I found that sometimes people don't want to understand because what we share so openly reminds them of something that they have hidden deep within themselves and told no one.

    Our societies seem to know how to support physical death with all kinds of support, but much of what I have experienced as trauma has been disenfranchised meaning simply that they are not losses recognized with the same support. For instance, there was no ritua (like that of a funeral for a death)l for being diagnosed with PTSD or Chronic Fatigue or Fibro - no long line of people offering their condolences or people bringing food to my house to support me while I struggled to cope.

    We do not live in societies that encourage mourning (giving voice to our traumas) nor is much education given to how trauma affects an individual on all levels. I've researched each of my issues and have a better understanding of the roots of my struggle and like someone has already said here, I too, am now educating people.

    I must admit that it took me a long time to accept and understand my own psychological difficulties and they impact on my ability to work, soothe myself. parent, relationships and my mental and physical well-being.

    Thanks for your post willingtoheal,

  • Thank you PNIAuthor60 it finally really makes sense to me that people don't want to understand what happens to us because it reminds them of what they have hidden deep within themselves and told one. That really makes a lot of sense to me. Yes it's hard how people don't knock on your door and support you with the trauma that you are going through. People can be disappointing sometimes. I guess I've wanted people to understand me but those close to me can't handle it. I want society to accept all of us and get us but they just don't. Most people so close to me can't handle it. So it's hard but thank God for all of you. So I've learned to be selective in who I share things with. I've seen famous people put themselves out there and with social media people can be so harsh, cruel, mean to them. Even when people cry some in society seem so uncomfortable with that. I think of Kelly Clarkson singing on American Idol that song she wrote Possible trigger about her father abandoning her and she started to cry and Keith Urban was crying and how uncomfortable the people interviewing them commented about how they cried. Like they couldn't understand what the song was about. Just strange. So just to guard ourselves. Really good advice. Thanks.

  • Your welcome. I cried when hearing Kelly sing that song too. I was given up for adoption when I was 13 days old and never met my birth mother - abandonment can leave a gaping hole in one's heart and soul.

    I am glad that feel safe in this community to share with us. This is a wonderful community of caring and supportive and resilient people. I am often inspired and encouraged here, edified and uplifted reading the posts and experiences of others and realizing that I am not the only one struggling. Together, we can hold each other up!

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