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