Mental Health

Struggling With The Psychosomatic

Everyone who has been part of a mental health advocacy can relate to what struggling may be defined. Such a word would always mean a certain kind of catharsis–pathos, if you will–since the sense of a mind terribly purged is eventually met by resurgence or a particular form of redemption. As one struggles (especially when it comes to psychological matters), there is almost always an invisible pain: a recurring, perennial, cyclical pain that manifests itself inwardly as it begins affecting people’s perceptions of themselves or one’s sense of reality. To illustrate, a person undergoing a kind of mental breakdown does not exhibit exact signs of fatigue in the same way someone with a cardiac disease might yet the gravity of such mental breakdown complicates even this person’s waking, moving, eating, and all other sorts of normal routines. It is in the process whereby said person with the aforementioned condition does struggle with all his might, albeit being supposedly “normal.” But nothing is normal as his malady converges within him and strikes him to his core, thereby resonating even to the very fringes of his physical frame. Therefore, the struggle is real. That person is still in pain.

Many may affirm the aforementioned as psychosomatic, that is, involving both the mind and the body. It may simply be explained in a way wherein the body reacts to what the mind thinks, whether positive or negative; but instead of merely fulfilling usual processes concerning mind-body responses, the mind becomes more intense in its perceptions of reality that it begins affecting the body, bringing forth diverse illness-related symptoms. This actual phenomenon is accepted in the medical field, even tagged as a disorder (when things go overboard). However, many of us perceive this as a form of beguilement, an alleged reason to dupe others into empathy or sympathy. Little do we know that all these—most of all, the expressed pain, even without actual maladies to consider—are real, brought about by actual conditions, neurological and psychological to be exact. In particular, a person who has a psychosomatic disorder may be dealing with chronic depression or anything that spells a mental health concern. Likewise, there are sections in the brain (for example, the temporal lobe) that deals with emotions; and people with temporal lobe seizures are prone to feeling swings of extreme feelings that may be likened to bipolar disorder. It would not be unlikely then that seizure patients may also be prone to psychosomatic illnesses.

With all these, it must be remembered that persons who struggle from the terrible consequences of the psychosomatic must not be judged based on mere behaviour or what may be beheld as is. They all have certain kinds of dealings that they themselves may find equally taxing and it is up to those around them to proffer empathy and understanding. We might initially assume they may be faking their sicknesses, but who are we to judge? Our role as part of a community of individuals is to share that gift of goodwill amongst ourselves, part and parcel of which would be acceptance, understanding, and hope that things would get better.

Choleric-melancholic, blogger, teacher, mental health advocate, book lover.

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