May 3, 2022

Mental illness and suicide: a physician's story

"Sufferers of mental illness often believe that others feel they have control of their symptoms, only having to decide to not be, for example, depressed. While they themselves suffer the symptoms of mental illness, they often have the feeling that...


"Sufferers of mental illness often believe that others feel they have control of their symptoms, only having to decide to not be, for example, depressed. While they themselves suffer the symptoms of mental illness, they often have the feeling that they should be able to control them. Depending upon their experience, the observer of the mental illness sufferer believes that the patient can decide to some extent to not feel the symptoms.

Others feel that the mental illness sufferer is somehow to blame for their suffering.

When observing someone with mental illness, the examiner does not see signs referable to the condition. Information concerning the patient’s clinical condition consists entirely of symptoms and must be related to the clinician. There are no true signs of mental illness, but rather feelings; conditions that are inside, and hence invisible to everyone else. This invisibility leads to feelings of isolation and the destructive feeling that their suffering is by the fault of themselves."

William Lynes is a urologist.

He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The invisibility of mental illness."

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