Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Mental Health

Does time heal all wounds?

© MeSadChild at Deviantart.com
“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” Rose Kennedy

Time heals they say and I have to say I agree only to a certain point. Time allows a person to process the pain, the hurt and grow through it. I don’t believe anyone “gets over” intensely difficult times.  I don’t believe it helps when someone says, there are starving people in Africa…that sure does not heal any wound but adds guilt and shame for feeling the way you do.  Okay, enough with what I don’t believe as this post is getting to be a bit negative and that was not my goal.

Moving right along on the word at hand here on my stream of consciousness, “heal”, let’s look at what that means.  We can heal from many diseases, illnesses and yes many mental illnesses as well. Perhaps I will delve more into the latter.  Since we are nearing the Bell Let’s Talk day soon to remove the stigma of mental health, it may be an appropriate time to discuss this.

So many people still today are not comfortable with the phrase “mental illness”.  I am well aware of that when I speak to youths at work.  I say mental wellness, emotional illness, mental health and a new one that is more positive “mental ill-health”.  Why all the fuss for Pete sakes?  Well, if you have ever suffered from a mental illness or are being treated for some form of mental illness, you know darn well why we are sugar coating it …to make it enticing. We need to add lovely superlatives to entice the non-believers and especially to lure mentally ill persons who are not getting treatment so they can finally recover from their illness.   Mental illness can be treated and yes, many can be “healed”…recover .

So much is still misunderstood even by many professionals.  I remember going to a lecture at the Douglas Hospital a few years ago and the topic was Schizophrenia.  A guest speaker was a person who took years of misdiagnosis year after year after year of her condition…until finally she had a serious episode of psychosis and another doctor diagnosed her with Schizophrenia.  I won’t go into the details and yes, I realize not all people affected with this illness can recover completely, but they can live healthy lives with proper treatment.  This speaker was sharing her experience and told us she no longer had to take medication.  I was shocked.  I thought it was not possible.

I later spoke to a brilliant professor from Queens University in Kingston on the train to Toronto several years ago.  I was going to Toronto for a job interview related to Bell Mental Health project. I told her about this woman who spoke at the lecture and added how rare this must be. She shook her head and said, “Actually it is not as rare as you think.”  Well, there you go…another condition that can be treated and some may even recover…be healed.

Depression is one mental illness that I hear about day after day.  So many youths are afraid to reach out for fear of being labeled.  Many times they don’t want to worry their family and friends. I hear this so often from youths and what breaks my heart is when some parents tell their teens they will outgrow it…it will go away like it came…it is part of being a teen. Really?  They will outgrow feeling sad when it lasts months and years?  Some don’t get help for they are not permitted to get treatment because some adults/parents believe there is no such thing as mental illness such as depression.  “Just stop feeling for yourself and get over it.” Yes, we do hear that again and again.

Recently I heard someone say that psychologists and psychiatrists are just out there to invent illnesses to make money.  I suppose many do believe this.

Lastly I would like to talk about grief for  a moment. I often say that Grief is a necessary depression only it is time that alleviates the pain.   Grief and loss are difficult events in a person’s life and they are not easy to process especially when you don’t know too much about it. A teen is grieving the loss of a boyfriend for example…that is a huge loss and it hurts A LOT for a while. It feels like your heart is literally broken and science has proven that parts of the brain are triggered in the same areas where you  feel pain. So yes, grief and loss hurt a lot.

Do you heal from such losses?  I believe it hurts less and less each day and in time, in your own time, you learn to move on despite that loss. A wound is healed but you are left with a scar…there that sounds better.  Scars are reminders of past hurts…not to feel sorry for yourself but to be reminded of what was, what you learned and how you grew through those difficult times.  Soldiers have scars when they come back from battle…well, yes, I realize they have huge emotional scars too but here, I am referring to the physical scars. They are somewhat like a badge of honour for the bravery they had to go to battle and fight for their country.  So if you finally “heal” from a loss, depression, a difficult patch in your life, any other emotional mayhems you have experienced, your wound will heal and a leave a scar.  Wear it with pride for the courage you had to survive that ordeal as well as reach out to get support to get through it.

I have a tiny scar on my right shoulder that is barely noticeable. It is from sailing when I was doing trapeze on our catamaran. I feel pretty good when I share that story and carry that shiny scar with pride.

Healing is a process…not everyone has the same time clock but you still get there eventually.

© Cheryl-Lynn ’15/01/17

Stream of Conciousness Prompt “heal”

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Author:

A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin http://cheryllynnroberts.wordpress.com I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. http://stigmahursteveryone.wordpress.com Namaste!

21 thoughts on “Does time heal all wounds?

  1. The quote about time healing wounds is spot on. Time does not heal wounds; it masks them or you learn how to wear a mask. Time does indeed create scar tissue over the wound. But, the wound remains. I have suffered many such “mental” wounds from being bullied in school (starting in grammar school. I was “different” and had not yet learned to hide it,) to being assaulted at a very young age, and then later in life being diagnosed with Bipolar I with psychotic tendencies, PTSD, Panic disorder, and ADHD. All of these have not healed. They are still very present and active in my mind and my life. I struggle daily with them. Sometimes, I write about them, but not the assault or the bullying. Those are still fresh even though they happened decades ago. I think some wounds never heal nor do they develop the scar tissue needed to cope with them. I have learned how to wear the mask so society sees a “normal” person not one who has been damaged.

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  2. Great post Cheryl-Lynn, mental health is an issue all round the world. I like the advice I was once given by a psychologist friend, she said to me one day we are all somewhere along the spectrum of mental health but so many of us don’t realise it.

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    1. So true, I wish more people could feel comfortable to talk about it…mental illness has no discrimination…it affects everyone at some point in their lives. Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂

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    1. You are most welcome…I had a prompt to respond to that I usually share personal reflections on another blog but I found the word “heal” appropriate for here. Thanks so much for dropping by.:)

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  3. I have to agree with you on the fact that time doesn’t heal wounds, it creates scar tissue. Following up on that, when there are different temperatures or weather (emotional or otherwise) that scar tissue can pull and something that you’ve thought of as healed for years suddenly hurts as if it had been struck anew.

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    1. Absolutely, Martha, you are so right. Healing is a bit like peeling an onion…layer after layer gets processed…notice some layers are tissue thin? those are the ones…all different levels of emotions get processed. Then you stop counsellor/or working through it and years later there are a few thin layers left over. Amazing how we are made for if we dealt with it ALL at once…how traumatic that would be.

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      1. And like an onion, you will cry, maybe not at first, maybe you’ll find some method to put it off (matchstick in your mouth to disperse whatever it is that onions let off when you cut/peel them) but you will cry eventually.

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    1. That makes total sense. To think you are supposed to forget completely and it never triggers any emotion is not helpful for anyone to think this…Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

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      1. I’ve also never been a fan of the saying “Forgive and Forget”….there are many instances of where I may forgive but won’t forget but many more instances of where I see no use in forgiving or forgetting. I think it’s how we learn from bad mistakes or incidents.

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