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A Letter to the Autoimmune Community #A4Amonth

Posted by Connie on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 10:02 pm and is filed under Advocate, Autoimmune Disease.
There are/is currently 35 comments |
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Prompt: Write a letter to your community and share a story of your own with them. Extra points if you record yourself reading the letter telegram-style!

Dear Autoimmune Community,

I hope that this letter finds you well. As much as I don’t want to share the autoimmune conditions with you, I’m grateful for your support and proud to be a member of such a brave and optimistic community.

I felt the need to share this story with you so that you may find some encouragement. As you know I was diagnosed with the first autoimmune disease over 20 years ago. After that diagnosis, others followed. When I received the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis at the age of 40 (9 years ago), I went into a deep depression. I was blind to it and chalked it up to fatigue and weakness.

Thankfully, a family member talked to me without holding anything back and without fear that I would get angry with her. She shared some examples of my behavior and she knew that I indeed was weak and tired, but that more of my symptoms mimicked depression. She suggested that I see my neurologist and find a psychiatrist.

Sad WomanAt first I was hurt and put her into the category of people who didn’t understand. After taking about a week to think about it, I began to realize that she might be right. I did what she suggested and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I began treatment with medication, talk therapy with the doctor and therapy with a counselor. The clouds were parting and glimpse of sun were coming through.

It took some time, but I began to feel much more content. To this day, I continue treatment and am proactive when my emotions get the best of me. Doses of medications may need to be changed or new meds may be started. I might need to add more counseling sessions. But the difference from how I felt 9 years ago compared to now is astounding.

Please don’t think that I believe your symptoms aren’t real. All I ask is that you learn about symptoms of depression and anxiety or listen if someone you love suggests you may have emotional problems. Your quality of life can improve.

 

My best,

Connie

This is the final day of WEGO Health’s Advocating for Another Blog Carnival.

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35 comments

  1. That’s the goodness of having a friend who understands you. They can easily tell when everything is not alright with you. I hope you get better soon.
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    comment by Diana Atkins — August 31, 2012 @ 3:13 am
  2. Hi Connie,

    I was just looking for a friend’s blog that is similar to yours and glad that I found your site.

    You are so right about having friends “who get it” regarding our chronic health conditions. Of course there are some who will not ever understand or are too uncomfortable with our “discomfort,” to try.

    I know you must be grateful that your friend led you to the additional treatment for depression. A very large percentage of people with chronic diseases also have depression (there are physiological and psychological factors working here) so it’s vital to be aware of this and seek the proper treatment. (My husband is a Clinical Psychologist who diagnoses and treats a wide range of disorders and depression).

    We have co-authored a book about our odyssey with the myriad of autoimmune disease and lyme disease that I’ve battled these last 12 to 14 years. “A Husband, A Wife, & An Illness” is also for individuals and families.

    I also have a blog and hope you will visit. The following is one article that you might enjoy: http://www.lifebeyondillness.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

    Thank you again for YOUR contribution to reaching out and sharing your story!

    Wellness wishes,

    Jamey

    comment by jamey lacy july — August 31, 2012 @ 10:36 pm
  3. Having people who lend you support when you need it the most is one of the best gifts. Feel better and be blessed!
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    comment by Dental Care — September 4, 2012 @ 5:18 pm
  4. This is a letter of emotional story of depression and anxiety, which is a massage of new life. I wish your cure future.
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    comment by Evan August — September 12, 2012 @ 4:18 pm
  5. I am really upset about your illness. I hope you will be cured very soon. Also you are met people as possible. Thanks for your nice sharing.
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    comment by Remington Troite — September 16, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
  6. I think so important thinking of yours about your post A letter to the community. I support you about your post. Thanks a lot for 7your well post.
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    comment by Harley Lonnie — October 9, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
  7. I am also grateful to read your post because your article is so helpful. Thanks for your nice story sharing.
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    comment by Drew Barimore — October 17, 2012 @ 5:10 am
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  18. Depression is a very wasteful disease,so it’s better to discover it in time. Good,that there was someone near you who gave such a useful piece of advice!
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    comment by Frank — January 17, 2013 @ 1:26 pm
  19. Having a real friend does make a world of difference when facing adversities like yours Connie. Glad you had someone to turn to.
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    comment by Marianne — February 19, 2013 @ 7:50 pm
  20. wow, whanks for sharing you story, it will be helpful for others
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