invisible illness and suicide

Invisible Illness and suicide

 I read this article about an amazing women who committed suicide and it just broke my heart. She was dealing with POTS which is not a disease I know a lot about. I do know that POTS is invisible, can be related to Lyme, is often debilitating, and there isn’t a large body of research about the disease. I do know that I feel for this women and that I understand what she was going through. I know what it is like to see everything you’ve worked for to slip through your fingers. I know what it is like to watch everyone else go on with their life while you are stuck in an endless round of pointless doctor appointments. I know what it is like to stare into the future and not know what is going to happen to you, and to know that you have no control. There are not strong enough words to describe how difficult that is.

As I sat in my car this morning struggling to find the strength to fight the battles I need to fight today I thought of this young women. I thought about what my life was like at her age. At that age I was working almost full time and going to school full time. I was partying with friends, I was looking for romance, I was trying new things, and I was having the time of my life. I can not imagine what it would’ve been like to get sick. I become sick when I was 25 and was much wiser than the person I had been a few years earlier, and I still barely managed to cope in the beginning. It’s taken time and a lot of support from friends and family to pull me out of the hole I was in, a hole which is often easy for me to start slipping back into. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have never considered suicide myself but there have been times when the pain was so severe and my separation from other human beings so complete that I knew and understood why people with chronic diseases kill themselves.

I’ve talked about suicide before here and here. I don’t know that I have much more to add except that people with invisible illness are not going away. This problem is not going away and it’s time for people to start caring. It’s time for doctors to stop passing off the difficult patients whose cases are “too difficult” to deal with. It’s time for the healthcare system to be fixed so there can be thorough treatment for these individuals.  I’ll say it again, something needs to be done; there needs to be a place in the healthcare system for us because we are not going away.

 

 

 

chronic mom

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5 thoughts on “Invisible Illness and suicide

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Invisible illness is on the rise. Everywhere I go I wonder if that person or that one are living in constant pain.. you can never tell. I look normal and if you could feel what I feel …oh but then you do Chronic Mom. Hope you have a good weekend.

    1. I saw someone park in the handicap parking this morning who looked perfectly fine on the outside. It made me wonder what invisible illness she had, how she was coping. and if she every got harassed for using the handicapped space. Overall it just made me think we never know who is suffering, there are so many of us.

    2. I saw someone park in the handicap parking this morning who looked perfectly fine on the outside. It made me wonder what invisible illness she had, how she was coping. and if she every got harassed for using the handicapped space. Overall it just made me think we never know who is suffering, there are so many of us.

  2. It is sad to me that nobody seemed to notice that she was suffering so horribly, but then again chronic pain sufferers are so good at hiding their pain there is almost no way to know. It is just unfortunate that illness is one of the leading causes of suicide, yet we still do not have any place in the health care system for people with chronic conditions. Like you said, we are NOT going away. They need to figure something out and quick!

    1. I thought the same thing, I do have to wonder why people don;t notice these things. I did realize though that very few people in my real life know what is going on with me (unless they read my blog). I'm so good at faking I could be suicidal and the only one who would know would be my husband. That made me sad to think about, and my new resolution is to be more authentic with people, even if it's not pretty.

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