They Say Mental Illness is an Invisible Disease

They say mental illness is an invisible disease.

No depression cough or bipolar sneeze.

There are no mental illness casts or bandages to wear

to heal or symbolize the pain we must bear.

Stigma influences the disease to become hidden

making speaking of it sometimes strictly forbidden.

Fear that exposing the truth would cause bias and shame

forces survivors to pretend and deceive by hiding its name.

There are no blood tests to determine the diagnosis or cause.

No x-rays or cat scans to prove medications should pause.

Developing the art of illusion and becoming the master of disguise

becomes necessary to hide painful symptoms and internal cries.

We must end stigma and stop the fears.

Listen compassionately with open ears.

Mental illness voices must speak and be heard

sharing stories, wisdom and insight unblurred.

Quickly educate the masses

teaching outside the classes

until invisible becomes visible

and a disguise becomes undisguisable.

They say mental illness is an invisible disease, but I say they are wrong.

The symptoms are visible if people learn what to look for, and keep their gaze long.

Mental illness is not always an invisible disease.

Survivors hide their symptoms to put others at ease.

56 Replies to “They Say Mental Illness is an Invisible Disease”

    1. I am happy you liked it. I agree. I wish more people knew. That is why I am sharing my story and writing and trying to be a voice so others can learn about mental illness. I pray one day mental illness stigma will end. Unfortunately, I think we have a long way to go… but we have to keep trying as much as we can to improve things. Have happy, healthy and fabulous days. Hugs, Sue


  1. I feel like every photo shared on the news of celebrities who’ve committed suicide because of depression shows the visible signs. They’re always photos that show the person in the middle of a broad smile, but their eyes don’t lie. You can always see the pain and exhaustion in their eyes. This stigma needs to be broken so people don’t have to lie with their smiles…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautifully said. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said (wrote). I try to explain that to people too. It is in their eyes. Their pain is there. It is not invisible. I think that people who have mental illness can see and understand this better because we can relate to their pain. We live it and understand what it is like. I agree people with mental illness lie with their smiles (I sure do) and I feel like the more sick I am the more make-up I apply to try to hide how I am feeling inside. As far as the celebrities I know what you mean. I felt so much sorrow when Chester Bennington from Linkin Park died by suicide because I could relate so well to his words and his pain. If you watch his videos, the signs were yelling at people through his words when speaking, lyrics, and like you said in his eyes. Oops. Sorry for the long ramble, but I liked what you wrote. Thanks again for your kind words and awesome insight. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have published this in my post and have acknowledged that you have written it. Thank you so much xo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes hiding and pretending becomes exhausting. Maybe one day we will not have to hide our symptoms as much. I am happy you liked my poem. Thank you for reading it and for commenting. I appreciate it. Be well and have a marvelous night, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently wrote a paper in my English 1020 class about mental illness being a real disease. Thank you so much for this! And if you have the time, please take a quick look at my blog, as it is advocating for mental health as well! thank you:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Short, sweet and thought provoking. Loved it! I tend to feel the societal pressure to be more ‘physical’ with my pain because surely my pain’s only valid if other people acknowledge it, right? tut tut. bullocks. loved your piece!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. gah you’re such a sweet and raw bean! I’m so super glad i played a part in making you happy! also, i’d just like to say that i endure a mental illness too and thankyou so much for doing something to reduce the stigma surrounding it! You’re doing bloody great, sue! xo


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