They Say Mental Illness is an Invisible Disease – a Poem

Because today is World Poetry Day 2018, I decided to write a poem. I hope you like it.

They say mental illness is an invisible disease.

No depression cough or bipolar sneeze.

There are no mental illness casts or bandages to wear

to heal or symbolize the pain we must bear.

Stigma influences the disease to become hidden

making speaking of it sometimes strictly forbidden.

Fear that exposing the truth would cause bias and shame

forces survivors to pretend and deceive by hiding its name.

There are no blood tests to determine the diagnosis or cause.

No x-rays or cat scans to prove medications should pause.

Developing the art of illusion and becoming the master of disguise

becomes necessary to hide painful symptoms and internal cries.

We must end stigma and stop the fears.

Listen compassionately with open ears.

Mental illness voices must speak and be heard

sharing stories, wisdom and insight unblurred.

Quickly educate the masses

teaching outside the classes

until invisible becomes visible

and a disguise becomes undisguisable.

They say mental illness is an invisible disease, but I say they are wrong.

The symptoms are visible if people learn what to look for, and keep their gaze long.

Mental illness is not always an invisible disease.

Survivors hide their symptoms to put others at ease.

~Written by Susan Walz

Copyright © By Susan Walz and – All written content and personal artwork is © and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.







  1. So true Sue, when I was younger, I was always so embarrassed when someone noticed I was “shy” andr ather upset that they thought I was just “shy” when it was so much more than that. Shy snd anxiety are two different things, most people do not know the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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