So Many People Suffering in Silence

Filed in Stress & Anxiety by on July 9, 2015 2 Comments

There are tens of millions of people in the U.S. who suffer from mental and emotional disorders. Anxiety, depression, phobias, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, etc.—it is sad to think of so many people in such great distress. Most suffer silently and bravely, day in and day out. May God bless them and give them strength.

As you know, I have been afflicted with anxiety since I was a child, and late in life experienced a severe episode of depression. I, likewise, suffered mostly in silence. My wife was well aware of my difficulties, and she has been hugely supportive and a great source of strength and comfort. My parents and children probably suspected something, but I never told them directly, and they never acknowledged it. I didn’t share my struggles with any of my friends or coworkers, because I was fearful of their reaction and concerned they would think less of me. I was simply just too embarrassed.

Having to carry such a heavy weight in silence and with such little support makes the pain much worse. In the case of anxiety this is especially true. Going to a social event believing that you need to hide your agitated mental state, or be “found out,” only exacerbates your already heightened anxiety, making the torment intolerable.

In the last several years I began sharing my emotional difficulties with family and friends. It has been a tremendous relief and I feel as though a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I found that divulging my emotional difficulties was not as difficult as I had feared, and if you have such problems, I recommend you consider it.

First of all, your family and friends love you more than you realize. They love you unconditionally and genuinely want you to be happy. They also respect you more than you realize, and exposing a weakness will not change their long-held opinion of you. Also, many of them also suffer from emotional problems, or know people who do, so it will not be astonishing to them that you do. If they themselves have emotional issues, they will likely be relieved to learn that they are not alone with their difficulties.

So, to those of you who have emotional difficulties, continue to carry on the brave fight. Yet also realize that you are not alone. Since there are so many of us, you might consider sharing your struggles with close family and friends, to allow you to draw on their love and empathy and make things a bit easier. It will help you, and also very likely help them. This, in fact, is the reason we are all here, right? To help each other.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Beth Difrank says:

    So true Tim- I honor you for your honesty
    We are all in this world together, to support one another

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *