Chronic Pain and Mental Health
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
I've recently had a much harder time writing about ADHD, ASD and mental health because my physical health has been the cause of most, if not all of my emotional distress over the last few months.
After I finished my time at U of T, I started working full time as a personal trainer, and that was a trying period during which I did a fair amount of writing. The most difficult part of that time was dealing with imposter syndrome which I will write a separate post about.
The main trigger for anxiety and depression now is the physical pain that comes with having a chronic illness (endometriosis). I've written about this in a few previous posts (links below) and I can't overstate the impact it has had on my life.
On any day, I don't know what kind of state I'll be in; my symptoms used to disappear for weeks or months at a time but when they came back, it would be with a vengeance. For days (if not weeks) at a time I could barely leave my apartment due to excruciating pelvic, and back pain, nausea, dizziness, severe digestive and bladder issues, and fatigue. Finally after about 5 years of flare ups I was put on medication that definitely brought me to a place where I could at least function almost normally, but my flare ups never disappeared. Furthermore, these medications are powerful and have potentially dangerous long term side effects. Currently I'm recovering from surgery which I'm hoping will alleviate some of the symptoms but there is no way to know whether or not the condition will come back as there is no cure.
Anyone that deals with chronic pain will know exactly what I mean when I say that the pain itself is as bad as the emotional stress that it puts you under. When you spend days on end in pain (that cannot be relieved with medication), a feeling of hopelessness often takes over. You can't go about your life as you normally would because you can't focus on anything, but of course you need to try because life doesn't stop when you do. You're not functioning properly because it interferes with your sleep, you eventually stop talking to people about it because there's nothing they can do to help you and you don't want to bother them. Worst of all, you have no idea when of if the pain will subside, but even if it does subside, you know it will come back because again; there is no cure. All of this amounts to a level of emotional stress that is enough to spend most anyone into a downward spiral that I have found myself unable to write about until now because I honestly haven't figured out how to properly cope with it.
All I can really say here, is that if you're dealing with any condition that causes pain then I hope you find relief and know that you're not alone. If you're struggling with ADHD or ASD then I hope my previous and future posts will help in some regard.