It’s human nature to isolate those in pain.
Despite millions of years of evolution, we’re still superstitious natives who are wired to believe that other people’s sickness will be transmitted through proximity or contact and wipe out the tribe.
Even if it’s the invisible kind of pain. We live in a society that stigmatizes and shames and neglects and judges and dismisses those with mental health struggles.
And so, we isolate. Because we’re scared of getting infected.
Interestingly, a pair of cognitive scientists recently conducted a study on this very issue. Their research found that people’s views about the communicability of mental disorders strongly predicted their willingness to interact with a person having that disorder.
If a coworker suffered from anorexia or alcoholism or schizophrenia, for example, other people in the office would keep their distance out of the fear of infection.
Of course, this is a completely irrational and unfounded view on transmission. And yet, the isolation persists. Pain erects a wall between the sufferer and the outside world. And the resulting solitude only adds to that person’s anguish in the face of it.
That’s why it’s so nice to know that the pain you’re struggling with has a name. Because all of the sudden, when you have language for something that you’re feeling, when you find a word to describe something that’s already there, it makes you feel so much less alone. So much less unique in your pain.
You think to yourself:
Oh my god, somebody else does what I’m doing. This is a real thing. Maybe I’m not crazy.
And the best part is, now that you have this name, this handle by which to hold your mysterious pain, you can reduce your isolation by educating others.
You can assure them that they’re not going to be infected.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What pain do you need to make real by pushing it through the mesh of language?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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