A fellow BPD blogger, Lauren, from By Lauren Haley, has been promoting a petition to introduce mental health education to the national curriculum within the UK. I really wish I could sign this to help the cause, but of course a vote from Canada would not count.
Another British blogger friend, Moongazer, from Chaos, Cats and Chronic Pain, recently blogged about a book with incredible information about chronic fatigue syndrome, which also relates to our shared fibromyalgia. This I was able to purchase and am finding it to be a very enlightening read.
I have combined these shout-outs because even though they are about two different subjects, the need for awareness of them is all too similar.
The lack of knowledge regarding mental illness, whether it be depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, is shocking anywhere in the world. The problems I had during my stroke scare with two specialists not being able to see past my psychiatric diagnoses (which have been in check for years now with only minor symptoms) are evidence of this, but there are people suffering worse all over the planet. Maybe it is up to us who can blog about our experiences to educate; but how do we get the right people to pay attention? I do hope that in Britain that petition will be a good starting point.
Chronic pain, whether it is fibromyalgia, arthritis, injury or any other source, is something that only a person with it can truly understand. It is often called an invisible illness and that is a very appropriate title. When you see people they will say “oh, it’s good to see you out, you must be feeling better”, If you mention that your pain is “better” they can take it to mean it is gone. And finally, if you aren’t out an about, they either forget about you or wonder why in the world you can’t do things with a little pain. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone in my life is like that. I do have a ton of support and to all of those who do their best I am eternally grateful. However, there are those who are just not able to comprehend how much energy it takes to just survive when every part of your body is in agony. To be honest, my own father was one of these people, even though he had plenty of pain himself. I am young, I shouldn’t give into it.
The book mentions that CFS is more mitochondria than hypochondria and I love that. When I first was diagnosed with fibro I had no less than three doctors tell me that it was not a real condition and one even said I should just “suck it up”. I wanted to put him on the examining table, stick a needle in his knee while his sore shoulder was pressing hard against the wall and see how he liked it.
But I didn’t start this post to get on my own soap box.
I wanted to highlight what people in my circles are doing to promote the causes we share. I feel I need to do more to educate as well. How that will look I don’t know yet.
One thing I do know is that the Lord allowed me to go through all the challenges I have for a reason. Everything He does is for a reason and sometimes it is hard to see that. But I also believe He allowed me to start writing again to help further the cause and use my experiences to help others – those who also suffer and those who need information. I am up to the task!
2 Replies to “Mental Illness & Chronic Pain Awareness”
Thank you! I had a client tell me the other day that she was in a depressive cycle, one that generally lasts a few weeks where she’s a mess. My first experience with her like this. When I sought to understand her experience of this hidden illness and understand how that having a shower was an I can’t, she was astounded. She asked, aren’t you going to try and fix me? Tell me there’s no such thing as I can’t? No, I said. I’m wanting to validate the reality of your experience and when you’re ready we can strategize. I’m emailing this article to her.
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Thank you. I hope it can help her. I have been in that same space where you want others to make you better. But it has to come from inside first.