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We Need to Stop Treating Mental and Physical Pain Differently

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During my childhood, after a certain point, I made it my mission to be tough and never show pain in public. Even if I twisted my ankle, sprained my wrist or cracked my shin, I was calm and I never showed I was in pain.

I did this because I knew if I had the proper medical attention, as soon as it happened, my injuries would be a thing of the past and I could move forward with my life without a second thought. However, if I did not seek help right away the effects of the injury would linger. Yes, the pain might decrease but it would never fully heal for the rest of my life.

We often separate physical and mental pain because we see ourselves as having a stronger pain tolerance in one field of pain over the other. But the truth is, we don’t.

The same rules follow mental pain. Given proper treatment, we will heal. If we wait, well, the pain will stay with us and indirectly lead most of our actions for the rest of our lives. Now, I know I need to focus on “letting people in” because, quite frankly, it sucks trying to act like you have everything together! It’s exhausting acting like you have everything under control when on the inside, you are sobbing. It’s OK to not be OK.

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Thinkstock photo via Archv.

Originally published: March 16, 2017
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