Invisible Illnesses - by Michelle Chalfant


Disabilities aren't always visible from the outside

In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.

There’s a stigma on mental illnesses. That stigma affects people with mental disorders very negatively. They feel they need to just live with their disorder and keep it a secret, instead of getting help because they fear how people will perceive them.

Being a Christian with Mental illnesses is hard. I feel as a child of God, I would/should be healed. But I’ve learned there’s a reason God created doctors, scientists and chemists: It’s to help those that are in need of medicine. I have come to see my illness as a blessing. I no longer believe that I’m being punished or that I'm cursed. We are made by our Father to help others. Some people were made to only help just one person in this world. I promise to touch as many people as I can who are struggling, whether it be an ear to listen or to offer any advice I can give. I believe God wants me to advocate, He wants me to help people to deal with their disorders, and to help others understand mental illness. I can feel it. He wants to use me, and what I’m going through, as a ministry. I want to bring awareness, and for people to understand that those who have mental illnesses are humans and have feelings, and don’t want to be judged for having something that they can’t control. Peoples' illnesses do not define who they are. They are much more.

I want to encourage you to educate yourself. Whether you know someone with a mental illness, or you struggle with it yourself, or even if it’s just to be educated, and to be aware, so you are more sensitive and knowledgeable to those who do have an illness.

Let me tell you a little about myself, and what I struggle with. Depression and anxiety are my mental illnesses. I’ve struggled from a young age, due to a very rough childhood. My depression was triggered at age 16, and my anxiety came on full force in 2011 when my dad passed away. It took me a long time to receive help. I thought that only really “crazy” people needed to get help. I realized after a while it was just getting too hard for me to bear. I was self-medicating, and I realized it was time to get on the proper medication that would help me, rather than just masking what I was feeling.

I just recently started a blog, and I am writing about my life experiences, where my mental disorders stemmed from, and eventually it will lead up to the part where I’m at now: acceptance of my disease, and turning all that bad around, and using it for good.

Thank you for reading. If you’re interested in reading more please visit uneasywhispers.wordpress.com and my Instagram blog: uneasy_whispers.


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