Invisible illness is a challenge of empathy among the larger community.

by | May 16, 2012

Wes Campbell wrote:

“Hard to explain to someone who has no clue. Or doesn’t believe you. It’s a daily struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (Pancreatitis, Crohn’s, IBS, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Diabetes, LUPUS, Fibromyalgia, MS, ME, Arthritis, Cancer, …
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry.”

The above statement is very powerful!  The goal of PTSD awareness is a huge challenge.  Under 10 million Americans suffer from PTSD according to the latest statistics.  It is a large number but a small minority in the context of over 300 million USA population.  Since researching and writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, I have become highly sensitive to the countless others who have not had an opportunity to experience or know the symptoms of severe PTSD resulting from traumatic events i.e., combat and life after war.   When you can’t see it or experience the pain of another person’s hidden illness, it is virtually impossible to have any empathy or compassion.  I am encouraged with all the media coverage, including social media, providing exponentially more information on this subject.  It will take time, lots of time, but the meaningful work of PTSD awareness is critical and must continue with every means available.  Otherwise, the help and compassion from the larger community will be difficult to achieve.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story 

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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