The Real Difference Between ‘Mental’ Illness And ‘Physical’ Illness

Mental Health


By Emily Wedderburn in The Mighty.


They tell me to think of mental illness like I would a broken leg or cancer. There’s no difference. Nothing to be ashamed of. And I tried to believe this while the world told me to be ashamed.

Now, I have realized they are not the same. Equal in their seriousness and validity, but far from the same.

If my illness was physical, maybe I wouldn’t feel ashamed of taking my medication, or fear the judgement of others for not being able to manage without it.

If I had a broken leg maybe I would not be expected to walk and talk and function as normal. Maybe I would not have to explain and defend and fear judgement of my illness. I would not blame myself and chastise myself for not being stronger. I would not have to fear going to the doctor in case I am not taken seriously, told to cheer up or think positive. I would not fear being thought to have demon possession or some kind of spiritual deformity by those in church.


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Link to story in The Mighty

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