Invisible pain

Years ago I was a patient in a psychiatric ward.

I was a ‘well behaved’ service user, not problematic to the staff. I quietly planned my suicide from within an open ward. I couldn’t believe that nobody could hear the noise from inside my head. Psychiatric nurses even mistook me for a doctor one day as I visited a friend I’d made in a nearby ward (large psychiatric unit). I didn’t realise until my friend mentioned that she was supposed to be escorted at all times by a responsible adult and they’d thought I was a doctor !

Bad practice issues aside, I’m sure there was some protocol about ID missing there, what really struck me was, “Can they not see that I’m a patient!” That was the first time it struck me how invisible depression can be. I’m not sure how I thought they could read my mind….. and guess what they couldn’t.

How many of us don’t realise that people can’t see our anguish, so used to covering it up that it’s not conscious hiding anymore but habit.

So my thoughts today – find someone you trust and tell them what you’ve been hiding.


6 thoughts on “Invisible pain

  1. I’ve been a patient in a psych ward, twice. My last visit was a few years ago, and what struck me, while I was there in a group therapy session, surrounded by people who were just as depressed and suicidal as my self was when I had mentioned that it really hurts when you tell someone you are depressed, or that you have anxiety, and they tell you that it’s all in your head, that you can get better if you wanted to. I shared this because I thought I was the only person who ever got the response from someone who didn’t suffer from depression. Every single person in that room said that they had gotten the same kind of response from someone that they knew. So many people out there who don’t suffer from depression but have been sad, or have had a bad day, and they get over it and move on with their life, have no idea what depression really is. And they don’t realize the damage that they can do when they tell someone who has depression that it’s in their head, or to get over it or that we can get better if we want to. Thank you for sharing. That pain truly can be so invisible.


  2. With my chronic invisible illnesses, depression comes as part of package. Not something I want but I find writing helps me even if no one really listens or reads.


    • Thank you mini2z. I am new to putting this into public text and have only jotted the odd thing down on paper in the past. It is good to hear that you find that writing helps.

      Liked by 1 person

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