There are many different types of emotional and psychological pain that one may endure, some of which we, as a society, do a pretty good of acknowledging and addressing. For example, if someone is in the midst of a divorce they will often find they receive support, compassion, and care from friends and family members.
If you have lost a loved one, even strangers will offer their condolences, sending thoughts and prayer through mutual friends or on social media. However, this level of understanding doesn’t extend to all psychological pain. Instead, there are a number of conditions which are often overlooked, downplayed or dismissed. This treatment only compounds the pain that those struggling are experiencing, as they feel judged or question whether they really should be feeling the way that they do at that time, questioning their own thoughts and emotions.
As a society, we can greatly benefit from taking the time to better acknowledge and understand these situations. Doing so will empower us to support our friends, family and loved ones, as well as to be able to ask for the support that we require and work through our own challenges in life.
Here Are 8 Types of Psychological or Emotional Pain That Most People Overlook:
#1 – Struggles Relating to Fertility and Babies
When someone loses a child in an early miscarriage, or struggles through infertility treatments, the people around them often struggle to comprehend how it can cause such pain and sadness. What people fail to overlook is that while you may not have held your baby in your arms, there is a sense of connection between parent and child that defies explanation. The couple that has been going through the highs and lows of infertility treatment are facing a never-ending rollercoaster of hope and disappointment, while also trying to wrap their head around the fact that they feel like their body is failing them due to the inability to conceive without assistance. Meanwhile, an early miscarriage, regardless of how a child is conceived, is still the loss of a child – a child the couple hasn’t met with yet, but a child they have already felt a connection with. There are also those that struggle with the reality of being unable to have children. These are all very real experiences that should never be brushed aside or dismissed.
#2 – Stress and Trauma Surrounding Situations that Turn Out to Be Nothing
If anyone has ever had to await test results after the discovery of a lump that could potentially be cancerous, then they can tell you that the stress, anxiety and worry that occurs during that stage of waiting is very real and shouldn’t be dismissed. Just because something turns out to have been nothing more than a scare doesn’t remove the experience from your life. At that time, you had a very valid reason to be concerned. This also goes for car accidents where everyone turns out to be ok, burglaries where you find that the thief only stole minor items or other major illness scares such as believing you may be having a heart attack.
#3 – Heartbreak (Outside of the End of a Marriage)
When someone gets divorced, people seem to understand the pain and heartbreak that follows offering their support, comfort and encouragement. What about the relationships that may not have involved the step of marriage? Often the heartbreak associated with a breakup is brushed off with comments like ‘there are other fish in the sea’ or ‘you deserved better anyway.’ Regardless of the reason why the relationship ended, this is the end of something significant in your life and should be treated as such. Allow yourself to feel the grief and pain that it may feel and be patient with yourself as you work through it.
#4 – Living with An Invisible Illness
Those who are dealing with chronic illness or chronic pain often struggle to be understood, as in many cases they look just as healthy as everyone else around them. While people can tangibly understand the pain that someone is feeling when they are relying on crutches, their leg in a cast, this can’t be said for those types of pain and illness that are invisible to the human eye. This often robs these individuals of the support and comfort that they need from friends and loved ones. Furthermore, many struggling with these conditions feel judged for being ‘unmotivated’ or being told to ‘just let it go.’ Whatever illness you may be facing (depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.), don’t allow others to make you feel as though this is your fault, or that you aren’t deserving of their support.
#5 – Loneliness
The feeling of loneliness is often treated as being nothing more than a self-imposed struggle, something that anyone can fix or remedy in order to avoid the pain. However, rarely are those who struggle most with loneliness in this situation due to a desire to put themselves through this pain. These situations often arise due to an inability to connect with others (social difficulties, inability to get out due to physical health concerns, etc.) which leaves you feeling deprived of the social interaction that you crave, isolated and even empty. Loneliness has been found to not only impact us on a mental and emotional level, but also causing physical symptoms that have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. If you are struggling with loneliness, it is important to know that this is not a condition that should be ignored.
#6 – The Loss of a Pet
This is a type of pain that only pet owners and animal lovers can truly understand. For those that welcome a pet into the household, they become a part of the family. While we can’t speak the same language, and the connection is certainly different than that with another human being that doesn’t mean that it isn’t deep and meaningful. The bond that we create with our pet is a special one, and the loss of that beloved member of our family will naturally bring feelings of sadness and grief. Don’t allow anyone to convince you that you shouldn’t grieve because it was ‘just a pet.’
#7 – Guilt
Often the experience of dealing with extreme guilt is dismissed or downplayed, however this is a very powerful emotion that can have a significant impact on your life. Regardless of whether you are feeling guilt due to having done something wrong to someone else, failing to do something to prevent a situation, or simply due to being blessed with possessions, experiences or situations in life that others may not be able to experience or have, your guilt is very real. This is an experience that you can’t just bury away, or it will continue to eat away at it. Instead, you need to feel it, address it, and do whatever you need to in order to forgive yourself in order to allow yourself to move forward.
#8 – Trauma or Anxiety from Situations that Don’t Affect You Directly
For those who are highly compassionate, sensitive or identify as an empath, you may actually take on the pain and anxiety associated with another person’s experience. While you weren’t directly impacted, the anxiety that you feel is very real. Examples of this include those who struggle with the passing of a celebrity, even if you have never had the opportunity to meet them, those who find it difficult to accept the loss and devastation of major events like earthquakes, tornados or war in other areas of the world, or those who survive a major layoff at their company, still retaining their job but feeling the pain and anxiety of those who didn’t.