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.