My Diagnosis

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and visiting with me today. I am glad that you are here.

I have decided that my next series will be about my various diagnoses. I am going to be sharing my personal experiences with these diagnoses rather then discussing what the diagnosis is in all its possibilities. I feel that it is important for those of us who are living with chronic illnesses to share their lived experiences. This has value because many of our illnesses are invisible, rare, hold stigma and are misunderstood. Talking about our lived experiences can help shed light on what it is actually like to live with chronic illness. The internet has given us a platform that we historically have never had before. By using it, we can help change the way that people with chronic illnesses and those with disabilities are being treated both medically and socially.

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Through the Media’s Eyes

I feel that the primary reason that there is a stigma against mental illness is because of the way it is portrayed in the media. People believe what they see on TV or read on the internet. Especially in regards to things that they have no experience with. I am not blaming the consumers here. I’d love it if everyone would go get themselves educated on what mental illness really is, but that isn’t going to happen and really doesn’t need to. I am, however, blaming the media, in part. I don’t feel that the media is completely responsible for shaping popular opinions. TV shows and movies are about telling a good story and that often has nothing to do with reality. It is not the media’s responsibility to make sure that people don’t believe in vampires, were wolves and unicorns. In the same way, it is not their responsibility to make sure people don’t believe that mental illness is a synonym with violence or helplessness.

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This thing, that you call me,
doesn’t change who I am,
yet it defines me,
This name, this diagnosis,
that you gave me.
The name didn’t make me this way,
yet it shapes everything around me.
The stigma for this label,
marking every social interaction
and limiting the choices I can make.

Relationship with Food

There are many things in our lives that can effect the relationship that we have with food. Our culture, our up bringing, food insecurity, trauma, media exposure and our chronic illness. We often don’t think about the ways that chronic illness effects our relationship with food. But it can have significant impact and is worth consideration. But for some reason, this isn’t something that I generally hear being talked about in either the medical community or the chronic illness community. I’m not sure why, but the mental health impact on the way that food can damage our bodies is often over looked. So, I want to take some time to talk about the way that chronic illness can impact our relationship with food.

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Self-Honesty

When you have chronic illness, it becomes important to carefully self-evaluate and self-regulate. No one else can tell you if you should be resting or if you should be moving. No one else can really know if you are offering up excuses or if you are really having a bad pain day. But the truth is that it can be hard to tell the difference for ourselves at times. Why is this so hard? The answer comes down to self-honesty. Most of us tell ourselves lies without realizing that’s what we’re doing. We buy into the stereotypes or the stigma or the story about ourselves that we grew up with. 

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