I have recently been denied a certain privilege at my church because my illness is not understood by others. I have PTSD and treatment resistant depression, a wonderful service dog who does give some help, but I still don’t always have the ability to participate in activities with others. I also have numerous physical problems, among them Fibromyalgia which others just plain don’t understand. I have a great Psychiatrist and therapist who help me deal with the stigma of having a mental illness, but that doesn’t make life that much easier. I also find that doctors will often give me less credibilitiy than I deserve because of the diagnosis of PTSD, etc., and when they read my whole history there have been some who refused to treat me. I speak up whenever I can about the fact that mental illness is no different than other diseases, that there are physical realities which go with it, and have at least been able to help educate a few who were going into counselling when asked to lecture at a local college. MY abuse was in a cult, and if that comes up then the treatment I receive becomes even worse, for people do not believe that cults exist (I was raised in one for the first 20 years of my life). I think that the best thing for those of us with mental illness to do is to keep on getting out when we can and showing to the world that we are not freaks, we have an illness which unfortunately can be classified as an “invisible disability”.