Episode 15: Loneliness + True Connection with Monica Ramil



San Francisco native Monica Ramil is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She began her path as a psychotherapist shortly after being hospitalized for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). She underwent aggressive treatments in the ICU and a complication left her temporarily blind. Monica says her illness had a profound impact on her life and relationships while shifting the way she sees illness and disability.

In this conversation, Monica discusses some of the more difficult parts of her medical journey and how they’ve actually helped her feel more gratitude for the connections she has with others. Her willingness to both explore the darkness and glean the light from her experiences is a mark of her resilience and introspection.


  • Monica describes the rapid development of her ADEM from flu-like symptoms to full hospitalization.
  • How she felt her emotional and spiritual needs were overlooked during this intense period of physical care.
  • Her lonely but enlightening dreams during recovery and introspection between treatments.
  • How an existential insight in the midst of her treatment made Monica rethink her relationships with others and her own body.
  • The questions Monica wishes the people in her life had asked her during this period, and how her relationship with her mother grew when she asked for what she needed.
  • The validation Monica found in a new friend willing to slow down to match her pace.
  • How difficult it was for Monica’s husband to experience her illness as a helper and confidant.
  • The surprisingly unifying effect Monica’s ADEM had on her family, including her father’s self-sacrificing prayer.
  • Some of Monica’s funnier anecdotes from her time in the hospital, featuring her irreverent brother and cousins.
  • Reconsidering how to be more compassionate with her family in the aftermath of her treatment.


Monica Ramil

Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples


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Lauren Selfridge