Today I am going to talk to you about isolation. Although there are different types of isolation, I want to talk today about psychological isolation. This would be the failure of an individual to maintain contact with others or genuine communication where interaction with others persists. When a person has a chronic or invisible illness, isolation can be a normal coping mechanism for some, but is not necessarily a good idea. When you have a chronic illness, support is an absolute necessity.
Let me elaborate. When you have an invisible illness, you already feel isolated. You feel like no one could or will ever understand your plight. You feel like you are always feeling horrible and literally cringe at the thought of someone asking you how you are feeling. You feel like the easiest answer is to be alone because no one wants to be or be with a Debbie Downer.
This conversation today comes from a deep dark place of concern because I want all of you to understand the importance of being supportive and allowing support on the part of both caregivers and patients. This is important because what often comes along with chronic illnesses is depression and feelings of hopelessness. Depression is a serious thing and is often looked at as a weakness and not an illness. Everyone deals with struggles in their lives but not everyone has the same support systems, or tools to cope with their struggles. Not to mention, when you are clinically depressed, their may need to be medical intervention.
Depression is real and comes with a lot of symptoms that can go unnoticed. Education is key so that we can recognize the symptoms when they are present. What some don't know about depression, is that is does not always mean that someone is down in the dumps, or constantly sad. It can also mean moments of over thinking, or racing thoughts that can't be quieted. Feelings of having a lot to do, but far too overwhelmed to complete a task can be ever so present. Other times it can be simply being extremely hyper or manic or very tired, but unable to sleep. Yes, insomnia can also be a part of the depression umbrella.
In light of the recent alleged suicide by Hip Hop Mogul Chris Lighty, I felt that it is absolutely imperative that more dialogue transpire regarding depression and suicide. Because depression can play a big part in the lives of the chronically ill, this subject hits home for millions of people in the world. Not to mention, my family was personally struck by the pains of suicide when my older brother reportedly took his own life several years ago.
I have this conversation with you today to shed a little light on a topic that can affect any person regardless of race, gender, or age, because anyone yes even children can experience depression. It is very important that we take another look at how we view mental illnesses as well, as they are too part of a huge umbrella of invisible illnesses that aren't always readily apparent, unless you know the signs.
If you are isolating yourself...please examine the reasons and look for and allow others to support you. And if you know someone that is isolating, make every effort to let them know that you care and are there for them.
The Soul Stringer