Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With All Invisible Illnesses

“Living in Stigma” connects with everyone coping with chronic pain, mental illness, and all invisible illnesses.

My blog Living in Stigma was launched in 2007 and originally dedicated to all of us struggling with mental illness.  I felt as if I was living in stigma with my own major depression.

Many forms of mental illness comprise of DepressionBipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and much more.

I struggle with both mental illness and chronic migraines, and with news articles, social media, research and valued readers sharing comments and opinions on my blog, it’s a reality that invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, headaches, recurring back and leg pain, and so many more are also a vast portion of invisible illness stigma. 

There appears to be a link, in numerous situations, where people are also experiencing chronic pain, as well as, depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, a connection to PTSD or feelings of suicide.  They/we sit in isolation, put on a fake smile, and don’t want to feel as if we are a burden.

Mental illness is neither one’s weakness, a character flaw nor one’s fault, however, we regrettably live in a society laced with Stigma.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Deb McCarthy/2017

 

77 thoughts on “Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With All Invisible Illnesses

  1. emylovesbalance says:

    I’m new to blogging. I also recently started a blog to discuss mental health, chronic pain, and trying to maintain an enjoyable life that a 21 year old should have. I happened to find this post while searching chronic pain and I definitely agree, many of us suffering also have mental health issues. My anxiety and depression has dramatically escalated since my incident almost 4 months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      Great to meet you and thanks for stopping by to comment. I took a peek at your blog and it sounds as if we share similar issues dealing with chronic pain and depression. Stay strong and keep writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TheCryingCurly says:

    Chronic and invisible illnesses are so common and yet we still don’t talk about them often. I think it’s really important because everything is linked. My pain is linked to my mental wellbeing and people don’t seem to understand that. Have followed your blog! E x

    Like

    • cherished79 says:

      Invisible illnesses are tough to handle and live with. It’s when people make judgment and offer moronic opinions it proves there is a stigma. Thanks for commenting and following my blog. 🙂

      Like

  3. E says:

    I have a deep appreciation for writers who use their voice to raise thoughtful awareness; it’s validating and brings hope. I live alongside anemia, endometriosis and had migraines when I was little, likely all effects of past trauma and anorexia. The great part is these conditions are only part of who I am, or who we are. My mothers best friend died of lupus several years ago. These ‘invisible mystery’ illnesses are very real. I believe stigma creates a dangerous shadow where health issues linked to trauma end up living. Continuing to remove the stigma will lead to more resources for whole-healing. Learning to become our own health advocates is an empowering (sometimes scary and frustrating) part of our healing. Thanks for writing about it.

    Like

    • cherished79 says:

      I struggle with chronic migraines, and although I’m convinced it has to be genetic I’ve researched how PTSD (sexual/emotional abuse) may tie in with migraines. There is, unfortunately, a stigma attached to invisible illnesses, which includes chronic pain and mental illness. Thank you for sharing your past.

      Like

  4. uponbrokenwings says:

    Thank you. Mental health is a personal struggle for me because I put my family through horrible things because of my PTSD. I failed to look for my triggers and let it spiral until I tried to take my own life. I hope to share my story to those that are going through the same thing and help them before they break down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      PTSD is not your fault and you shouldn’t be blamed, yet alone thought of as a burden. Triggers are horrible, they will stop you in your tracks and within a second will catapult you back to when the abuse took place, and you have to experience the abuse all over again. For me, I can be ok, a trigger will happen, and I fly back to 6 years old in a second. Writing is cathartic, and sharing your story takes guts. I’m proud of you that you are a survivor. Hugs xo

      Like

  5. uponbrokenwings says:

    Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:

    It is important that we get rid of the stigma of mental health because it kills so many. That stigma makes people afraid to get help and when they see no way out the go to suicide as the answer. Suicide is never the answer as I have had to learn this lesson personally. I just hope to reach those before that lesson ever has to be learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. iamwebecca says:

    Thanks for sharing xx i’m new to blogging and im following people who inspire me and who have good things to say! would you mind following my back? I myself am passionate about speaking out about mental health, i’m just getting started 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      I just left a comment on your lovely blog! We definitely need to bring awareness of chronic pain and invisible illnesses to let people know that when we put a smile on our faces, most times we are in terrific pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • painslowsmedownbutiwillnotletitdefineme says:

        Yes. My own children have been part of my greatest struggle. No matter how much I try to explain, they just don’t understand. My back has been out for three days and I have a migraine and they were mad at me today because I wouldn’t go fishing with them and my one yr old grandson who isn’t even going to hold the pole!
        They told me it wasn’t any different to set in a lawn chair than it was to be on my couch. Of course anyone who doesn’t have back pain or migraines would think it was no big deal I guess.
        I just wish there was a way to make people understand. To get them to see that adding guilt on top of guilt we already feel isn’t healthy. I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet!

        Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      Thanks and sorry for the delay. I’m not posting to this blog for the moment, but am on twitter @livinginstigma. I would be happy to promote your site on there. Do you have a twitter account?

      Like

  7. dbest1ishere says:

    I am new to blogging and still trying to find my voice. I live in the shadows of stigma daily and I know how it feels to be afraid to come out and say I have Ptsd. I liked your post

    Like

  8. matterstosam says:

    Hello.
    Just found your blog through twitter. I can’t wait to read and comment. Having supportive nonjudgmental places for us to be ourselves and hopefully get an accurate mesage out there that mental illness is no different from any physical illness and should be treated with respect and compassion. I try to do the same thing on my blog.

    Like

    • cherished79 says:

      I just took a peek at blog, feel free to copy one of my posts as a guest post if you’d like, just tell me which one, or you can reblog. I love the way you set up your blog with openness. Yes stigma. I had trouble deciding to even start this blog (2007), as I was ashamed of my depression, but realize I was writing anonymously so that was fine. Today I feel differently, and frankly I don’t care who knows, it’s not my fault and so be it. Thanks for commenting, and Twitter is a great source for locating new sites and blogs. 🙂

      Like

  9. ccyager says:

    Hi, Cherished79! Found your blog via Cherished Blogfest. Looking forward to reading about cherished objects during the blog hop here and at other blogs this weekend. Come visit me at Anatomy of Perceval!

    Like

  10. Pheonix says:

    I absolutely love your blog. Not only is it inspirational, but it’s supportive. It’s the most positive message I’ve seen on depression. I admire you greatly for having struggled with depression and still being able to put out so much positive energy. As a special needs mother, I’ve gotten to know many wonderful women whose children have either passed away or are close to death. If there is anything you could share that might help someone struggling with the death or severe illness of their child I would love to read it.

    Like

  11. Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns says:

    Hello Deb, I’m so glad I found your blog. Your strength and courage speak volumes when compared to the things you have experienced in life. I realize it takes work on a day to day basis but to maintain but from what I’ve read I believe you are on the right path.

    Like

  12. operahell says:

    Dear Cherished,

    It can’t be easy to go through what you have, but I wanted to personally thank you for posting your words and experiences here. I wish you all the best, you are not alone ❤

    -OP

    Like

  13. tlohuis says:

    I just posted a new post to my blog today and it’s about this exact thing. The stigma attached to mental illness needs to become unattached. People need to educate themselves before passing judgement on anyone with a mental illness(es). It’s no different than having a disease in any other part of our bodies. Thanks for sharing. We need to keep getting the word out!!!!!! I just got out of the hospital last Monday and wrote my new post while in the hospital in the Behavioral Health Unit Check it out when you get a moment and let me know what you think. We are most definitely on the same page with this. I’m back now and I’ll be back to read more of your blog, soon. Take care.xx Tammy 🙂

    Like

    • cherished79 says:

      Hi Tammy, I just read your blog post and left a comment.

      Thanks for your comment. Hope you are recovering just out of the hospital and you sure wrote an important post while in the hospital! You hit the nail on the head about stigma, and getting the word out so people can understand how important it is to educate themselves before passing judgement. It doesn’t help when they you hear update after update of news covering the tragic story of the plane crash with the pilot who may have killed everyone on purpose possibly due to mental illness. That’s where stigma comes in and hurts all of us struggling .

      Liked by 1 person

      • tlohuis says:

        Exactly!!!!! I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on my latest post. It’s good to be back. I am going through some pretty terrible withdrawals. The doctor that was assigned to me while in the hospital was a total idiot and took me off a Benzo, that I took for sleep and anxiety, in less than a week. Benzo’s are the hardest drug to get off of and can be fatal if not closely monitored. I’m left to figure it out on my own. I started back taking it, but not as much, just enough to lessen the withdrawals and I’ll address it with my primary care doctor on my next visit on May 7th. You have no idea how many doctor’s I called trying to get just one to listen to me and to guide me in how to get off this poison, safely. I asked that quack of a doctor if he was sure it would be safe to get me off this deadly poison in such a short time because my primary care doctor was going to help with getting me a tapering schedule, at my next visit. She told me that Benzo’s are the hardest drug to get off of and that it would be a long, difficult process. The doctor at the hospital just kept saying, that’s why you’re in the hospital, a safe place. Really? And, then you’ll go home without any knowledge as to what would happen to me and how long will this last? Sigh……………………..that hospitalization was BAD! It was like I was in prison, from what I know from watching prison shows all the time. LOL I will, never again, go to that place or anywhere even remotely close to resembling that place in any way shape, or form. I’ll stay home and try to figure it out by myself. Oh well, enough of that. I hope you are having a great day! Take care.xx Tammy

        Like

          • tlohuis says:

            Yes, they certainly are. Even though I put myself back on a much lower dose, I’m still withdrawaling and it is horrible! I am not me! I have to wait almost another month til I get in to see my primary care doctor that I see on a regular basis, every 8 weeks. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to battle with Benzo’s………Hope you’re having a “good” day. Take care. xxxx Tammy

            Like

            • cherished79 says:

              I feel so bad for you. Another friend said that she went for ECT’s related to major depression and they put her on benzo’s as well, I don’t know how long ago it was but she had a hard time, yet not the most supportive husband. Waiting to see the doc brings even more misery, and every 8 weeks is hellish. You are strong, look what you’ve been battling with everything else – we have to support each other. Take care, sweet Tammy, we’ll talk soon. Hugs, Deb

              Like

              • tlohuis says:

                HI Deb, I will never do those ECT’s. Watching that video about did me in. they were trying to force me into it and I wasn’t having anything to do with it. I saw all the people that they conned in to doing it and I’m already depressed enough. I don’t need anything else to add to my list of misery. It’s friends like you that keep me going. Without this blog, I hate to think about where I might be right now. So glad our paths have crossed. Yes, support each other, we will do just that. Peace, love, hugs, healing energy, prayers and sunshine coming your way. I’ll talk to you soon. xxxx Tammy 🙂

                Like

  14. crumpledpapercranes says:

    Thank you for creating this. I long for a day where there aren’t any looks of surprise when you mention you have a job, or have a boyfriend, or babysit, or write, or even speak politely. Stigma’s ridiculous.

    Like

    • cherished79 says:

      It certainly is, and this is why I started this blog because we are ‘living in stigma’. Things have improved with more education out there, but then we get socked with news reports, minute by minute updates of the very tragic plane crash where the co-pilot possibly or intentionally crashed the plane due to mental illness (depression) or he wanted suicide and take everyone with him. This gives mental illness a bad name, and doesn’t help with stigma.

      Thanks so much for the kind words and commenting. 🙂

      Like

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