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Posts tagged: Ethiopian proverb

He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured

…is an Ethiopian proverb. Perhaps when one conceals their disease from themselves, they can never begin to get well – find medication, support or change behaviors needed for healing.

Perhaps when one conceals their disease from the community, they are not part of a group who changes perceptions, advocates for cures. Together, we encourage each other, find hope.

In an interview on The Queen Latifah Show, the beautiful actress Rene Russo revealed her lifetime battle with bi-polar disorder. Another lovely face – like actress Catherine Zeta-Jones - now associated with a mental health illness.

Rene Russo's story may encourage others to get medical help, change how people perceive others who live with mental health disorders. And perhaps enough stories will lead to the longed-for cure.

(S-R photo: Lake Pend Oreille) 

Shhhh…a secret?

“He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.”  ~ Ethiopian Proverb

I love this proverb; we conceal our illness, our weakness and often suffer in silence. However, when we make ourselves vulnerable, often answers, healing and support may show up – and offer hope and even health restored.

Have you ever been seriously ill or experienced a situation that felt shameful such as domestic violence, mental illness? If so, how much did you conceal your disease – or not? Thoughts?

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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