Because today is World Poetry Day 2018, I decided to write a poem. I hope you like it.
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.
~Written by Susan Walz
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