Isolation is not Loneliness
Loneliness is the absence of other people. The lack of their physical presence.
Isolation is a feeling of being cut off from society. Having a lack of community.
Where Does it Stem From?
Isolation can be geographical after a move. It can also be from a lack of familiarity of the culture with the people nearby.
Some people might stay inside their homes due to anxiety. Sometimes it is a choice to separate emotionally by withdrawing.
Sometimes a person feels the need to mask parts of their personality while socializing. They might feel that a part of their identity must be hidden so to be socially acceptable.
Isolation is a Symptom
It is a symptom of a society that does not recognize Mental health as a physical illness. There is a general lack of acceptance or knowledge of how to support the mentally ill.
People might feel pressure to conform, so they withdraw or hide parts of themselves that seem less typical. This is exhausting and doesn’t work long term. It leads to more division and aggravation of mental illness issues by inducing stress.
Ways to fight Isolation
If you feel strong enough to help bring awareness, share your stories. Join groups and reach out to other people. Use social media as a tool to bridge communication gaps.
Refuse to hide either physically or by sweeping parts of yourself under the rug.
Trust God. Be creative and forgive yourself.
Do not allow negativity in your circle.
Hope for the Future
Sharing our stories and building networks of support in our communities are the key to change. Life will become more inclusive for those of us with mental illness. The stigmas will fade as more people are exposed to the truth that many people live fulfilling lives with complicated neurological issues.
These are just physical illnesses that affect the brain. They should be treated with the same respect and caring support of any illness.
This is a video I made about isolation as it pertains to me.