Dysautonomia is a group of conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system, which controls functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation. These conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, and more. Coping with dysautonomia can be challenging, but therapy can play an important role in managing symptoms and improving the overall quality of life.
Understanding the Impact of Dysautonomia
Dysautonomia can have a significant impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Physical symptoms, such as fainting or lightheadedness, can be debilitating and affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. Emotionally, a person may feel isolated and alone, which can be further complicated by the fact that dysautonomia is a condition that is not well understood by the general public. Considering the mental health of dysautonomia patients, a person may feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the unpredictability of the symptoms, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.
The Role of Therapy
A therapist can play an important role in helping a person cope with the impact of dysautonomia. Therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for a person to discuss their symptoms, feelings, and concerns. It can also provide emotional support, which can be especially important for people with dysautonomia, as the condition can be isolating.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that can be particularly helpful for people with dysautonomia. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to emotional distress. A therapist can work with a person to identify negative thoughts and beliefs related to their condition and develop strategies to challenge and change them. This can help a person feel more in control of their symptoms and improve their overall emotional well-being.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a form of therapy that combines mindfulness meditation with yoga and body awareness. MBSR can be helpful for people with dysautonomia, as it can help them better manage stress and reduce symptoms. A therapist can teach a person mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, which can help them to stay in the present moment and not get overwhelmed by their symptoms.
Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, can also be helpful for people with dysautonomia. These techniques can help a person to reduce muscle tension, which can help to reduce symptoms. A therapist can teach a person how to do these techniques and how to use them when they are feeling anxious or stressed.
Education and Support
A therapist can also provide education and support about dysautonomia, which can help a person to better understand their condition and how to manage it. This can include providing information about triggers, symptoms, and treatment options. A therapist can also provide support and guidance on how to communicate with family, friends, and employers about the condition.
Finding a Reliable Therapist Who Understands Dysautonomia
Finding a reliable therapist who understands dysautonomia can be a bit of a challenge, but there are several steps you can take to find a therapist who is a good fit for you:
Ask your primary care doctor or specialist for recommendations: They may have a list of therapists who have experience working with patients with dysautonomia and can guide you on who might be a good fit for you.
Check with local support groups: Many dysautonomia support groups have contact lists of therapists who are familiar with the condition and can provide informed care.
Search online: Many therapists list their areas of expertise and specialties on their websites, so you can search for a therapist who has experience working with patients with dysautonomia.
Contact your insurance company: Many insurance companies have directories of therapists who are covered by your insurance plan and you can filter them by specialty or area of expertise.
Contact professional organizations: Professional organizations such as the American Autonomic Society or the Dysautonomia International have resources and information on how to find a therapist who is experienced in working with patients with dysautonomia.
When you find a therapist you are interested in, it is important to have a phone or an online consultation with them to get a sense of their approach and if you feel comfortable with them. It is also important to ask about their experience working with patients with dysautonomia, what kind of treatment approach do they use, if they have any specific training in treating the condition, and if they work closely with other healthcare providers. Remember, therapy can be an important part of the care for dysautonomia and it is important to find a therapist who understands the condition and can provide informed care.
Coping with dysautonomia can be challenging, but therapy can play an important role in managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life. A therapist can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for a person to discuss their symptoms, feelings, and concerns, as well as provide emotional support, education, and practical strategies for managing symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and relaxation techniques are all examples of ways that therapy can help a person better cope with dysautonomia. Additionally, a therapist can also provide education and support on how to communicate with family, friends, and employers about the condition, which can help a person feel more understood and supported in their daily life.
It’s important to note that therapy should be used in conjunction with traditional treatment methods, such as medication and monitoring of symptoms by a physician. A therapist can work with a person’s healthcare team to provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to managing dysautonomia. Remember, it is important to find a therapist who is experienced in working with people with dysautonomia and who understands the unique challenges that come with this condition.
In summary, therapy can be a valuable tool for people with dysautonomia, providing them with a way to better manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. A therapist can provide emotional support, education, and practical strategies for coping with the condition. It is important to work with a therapist who has experience working with people with dysautonomia and to use therapy in conjunction with traditional treatment methods.
Dysautonomia is a term used to describe a group of conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system, which controls functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation. These conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, and more. While there is no known cure for dysautonomia, therapy can play an important role in managing symptoms and improving the overall quality of life.
What is Dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia is a general term that refers to a group of conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is responsible for controlling functions that we don’t usually think about or control, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation. Dysautonomia can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, and more. The condition can also affect people in different ways, which is why it’s often called “a syndrome of many faces.”
Why Therapy is Important
It’s crucial to seek therapy if you have been diagnosed with dysautonomia, as therapy can play an essential role in managing symptoms and improving the overall quality of life. A therapist can help you learn strategies for managing symptoms, such as how to avoid triggers, how to manage stress, and how to make lifestyle changes that promote well-being. Therapy can also be an important source of emotional support and understanding, as dealing with a chronic condition like dysautonomia can be challenging and isolating at times.
A Holistic Approach
Therapy for dysautonomia takes a holistic approach, which means it addresses the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the condition. A therapist may work with a person to develop strategies for managing symptoms, such as teaching them how to avoid triggers, manage stress, and make lifestyle changes that promote well-being. They might also help the person learn to better manage their emotions and improve overall mental well-being. They may also give you practical tips for managing symptoms such as how to position yourself when you feel dizzy, how to pace yourself and how to use your energy efficiently.
Addressing Emotional and Mental Health
Living with a chronic condition like dysautonomia can be emotionally and mentally challenging. Dealing with symptoms can be frustrating, and the fear of not knowing when they will appear can be overwhelming. Therapy can be an important source of emotional support and understanding. A therapist can help a person cope with the emotional impact of the condition and develop a positive outlook and mindset. They can help them identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to their emotional distress, and work with them to develop effective coping strategies.
Therapy can also play an important role in helping a person make lifestyle changes that promote well-being. This can include recommendations for exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management. A therapist can also provide guidance on how to make these changes sustainable, so they become a part of a person’s daily routine.
A therapist may also provide practical solutions, such as providing information on assistive devices or accommodations that can help a person manage their symptoms, such as a cane or a stand-up desk, and they may work with the person to develop strategies for communicating their needs to family, friends, and employers.
How to Incorporate the Holistic Approach with Traditional Methods
A holistic approach to treatment considers the whole person, including their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. It can be incorporated with traditional treatment methods by incorporating additional therapies and techniques that address these aspects of a person’s health. Some examples include:
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga, to help with emotional regulation and stress management
Nutritional counseling to address any dietary concerns that may be impacting the physical health
Art or music therapy to address emotional and creative needs
Spirituality or religious support to help individuals find meaning and purpose in their lives
Social support, such as group therapy or support groups, to address the social and psychological aspects of a person’s condition
It is important to note that incorporating a holistic approach does not replace traditional treatment methods, but rather it complements and enhances them to provide a more well-rounded and individualized approach to care. It should be done under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider who will assess the patient and provide advice accordingly.
Therapy can play an important role in managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life for those living with dysautonomia. A therapist can work with a person to develop strategies for managing symptoms, as well as provide emotional support and guidance on making lifestyle changes that promote well-being. A holistic approach to therapy that addresses physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the condition can be especially beneficial. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help, therapy can help you learn how to live a fulfilling life despite the challenges of dysautonomia.
I was diagnosed with Postural tachycardia syndrome or PoTS. This severe condition shows cardiovascular disease-like symptoms as it affects blood flow due to an exaggerated heart rate increase in response to standing. But that’s not all I experienced with such a severe medical condition like this.
It also impacts health issues such as depression. This severe condition form usually shows lightheadedness, palpitation, an uncomfortable physical state, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, increased risk of clinical condition, heart disease, tremors, and a rapid heartbeat. Not a lot of people know about this mental condition, but this health issue is directly related to cardiovascular response.
The initial diagnosis of my chronic illness was the devastating and depressing part of it. Since some of the symptoms of autoimmune illnesses can be associated with other chronic clinical conditions such as pregnancy, fatigue syndrome, dehydration, decreased energy, hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorders, and more. Aside from that, there are no large randomized controlled trials for this type of chronic illness, making this medical illness merely impossible to get one specific treatment.
Chronic medical conditions, characterized by long-term medical illness or disabling impairments, can take a toll on an individual’s physical and mental health condition. Certain medications to treat the illness may also trigger depression. In some cases, severe illness and depression may even trigger other medical illnesses. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in five adults with a serious medical condition develop depression. A personal or family history of depression raises the risk even more. Common symptoms of chronic illness and depression in this population may include feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, loss of interest in favorite activities and social withdrawal.
Depression affects your ability to carry on with daily life and to enjoy family, friends, work, and leisure. How common is depression in those with physical illness? Some medications that are useful for treating physical illnesses can also affect a person’s mood. Some common examples include corticosteroids, beta-blockers, and stimulants.
Early diagnosis of such conditions is key to successful treatment plans and better quality of life in the long-term. Common complications associated with long-term illnesses include pain, fatigue, and depression caused by the sudden onset of symptoms. For many, depression can be a difficult and challenging experience. In addition to the physical symptoms of the illness, living with depression can intensify pain and fatigue; creating a vicious cycle of symptoms that often lead to further weight gain or, worse, heart attack.
Research has shown that treating depression and chronic illnesses together can help people better manage both their depression and their chronic disease. This can also improve your overall health. Some strategies to treating depression includes joining support groups, reaching out to family members and health care providers, avoiding any substance abuse possibility, and researching for more additional resources that can help.
Things in my life changed along with these chronic illnesses and depression. Since my illness wouldn’t support such intense activity, my doctor said I should forget about it. And honestly, that one is the most depressive thing that I felt ill-doing. Unfortunately, this illness put me on antidepressant medication. But to get back on track with my life despite enduring some of the worse illness symptoms, I understand the need for professional help – that’s where counseling came in.
With serious illness often comes a major disruption to an individual’s quality of life which becomes a separate problem. Those suffering from such illnesses may have difficulty adhering to medication regimes or making lifestyle changes. It could even trigger symptoms of depression.
The counseling process occurs when a client and counselor set aside time to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the depressed and chronically ill client. This can enable clients to focus on feelings, experiences, or behavior, with the goal of facilitating positive change despite the illness.
Distressing Unwarranted Feelings
I told my counselor that the moment the physician told me that I should quit sports due to my depression and chronic illness, it felt like the whole world fell upon me. The news created a strong feeling of emotional dilemma that I began to endure almost every day. It was an exhausting battle, and I couldn’t find reasons to continue with my life. But my counselor managed to help me get rid of some unwanted heartbreaking feelings by teaching me how to become more appreciative of life despite my depression and chronic illness.
Of course, I can’t manage to deal with my emotional and depressive state all the time, especially with my chronic illness at bay. That explains why I often encountered severe mental stress, putting me in a chronically ill situation. The ill part of dealing with a chronic illness is the depression that comes with the recovery process. Thankfully, counseling made me realize that I shouldn’t try and force myself to deal with depression and my chronic illness.
Using talk therapy, medical professionals are able to help patients who experience symptoms of depression identify their thoughts and feelings. It is an effective treatment that has helped many across the world.
I admit that when I found out about my illness, I wanted to blame someone for this chronic illness. I became despondent and confused as to why this unfortunate chronic illness happened to me. Fortunately, counseling helped me realize that what I was doing was the worst thing ever. Counseling taught me to appreciate those willing to stick with me through this battle instead of making them feel chronically sick.
Chronic Losses/Gains From My Sickness & Mental Health Symptoms
Honestly, the one thing that made this whole PoTS battle so depressively and emotionally exhausting is the loss I will have to accept forever. Sports were my life, and it was the one thing that makes me completely happy and satisfied. With this, I will have to accept that everything about it should remain in the past. The process of accepting chronic illnesses is so overwhelming. But counseling ensures me that even if I lose something, I will gain another. Thankfully, I managed to see the beauty of life despite having this severe illness and depression.
The chronic diseases, depression, and anxiety that I held on to for too long are now becoming a part of the past. Yes, I may still feel bad about my physical health. But as long as I open my eyes to new opportunities and paths, chronic illness and chronic pain won’t be in the way.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of the most common complications associated with chronic illness – affecting 60 percent or more of people living with chronic conditions. Depression can have physiological and physical effects. Feeling depressed? Call the National Alliance of Mental Health Advocates.
Do Sickness & Depression Occur Together?
How Does A Persistent Ailment Affect Mental Health?
What Is The Relationship Between Depression & Persistent Ailment?
Is Chronic Sickness A Risk Factor For Depression?
Why Does Sickness Make Me Depressed?
Do Chronic Sickness & Depression Occur Together?
What Illness Often Coexists With Depression?
Mental illnesses often coexist with depression, sharing symptoms of depression.
Yes, depression is considered one of the chronic illnesses in mental health care, similar to conditions like heart disease in physical health.
How Does Chronic Illness Affect A Person’s Life?
Chronic illness, like multiple sclerosis, affects a person’s life by impacting their daily activities, and public health efforts focus on recognizing and treating these conditions to improve quality of life.
Can Severe Physical Ill Health Cause Depression?
What Physically Happens During Depression?
What Are The Top 3 Causes Of Depression?
What Is The Link Between Severe Illness And Depression?
How does Alzheimer’s affect the dynamics of a family? What does early onset do to a person? How does it create gaps between family members? It was a Sunday evening, and everyone in the family was having dinner at the table. My mom and dad discussed their tennis schedules while my brother and sister argued about who gets to wash the dishes after. On the other hand, I was busy scrolling my phone and just reading some stuff on social media. It was a normal part of our day. But suddenly, I noticed that my mom and dad’s conversation is getting too repetitive as my dad told my mom that their tennis schedule was on the third Wednesday of the next month at 8 pm.
Then I heard mom asking the time and day again. My dad sighed as my mom said, “Oh, okay, I get it.” I never knew that thingswould escalate quickly from there.
Unraveling The Tennis Schedule: Alzheimer’s Disease And Its Unforeseen Consequences
That particular Wednesday came, and I got off school early at that time. When I got home, I saw my dad anxious as my mom sits on the couch while his feet were on top of the table. I abruptly asked, “Isn’t it today that your tennis was scheduled?” My dad suddenly straightened up and said, “Oh, honey, we forgot.” My dad’s reply was confusing as I was sure that he never misses out on scheduled activities. I just let go of it, but my mom then asked, “We have a tennis schedule?” So I was, “yeah, mom. You and dad talked about it weeks ago”. She was like, “We talked about it?” while staring at my dad. At that point, I was too tired to make a conversation with them, so I went to my room not knowing that something could come up eventually.
Disease Called Alzheimer’s: My Mom
Understanding The Disease Called Alzheimer And Devastation
Alois Alzheimer is credited for compiling the first published clinical trial of the condition called Alzheimer. For the next few weeks, my siblings and I busied ourselves with school activities, and we seldom saw our mom at the house. Every time we share dishes, dad would tell us that mom was not feeling well and needed to rest to dine with us. We didn’t ask much about it and continued on with our daily routine. However, this one time, I skipped school and decided to spend my day in the house. As I was preparing food, I saw my mom in the kitchen. I asked her, “What’s for dinner?’ and she suddenly screamed at me. Like a dozen times,
The Dreaded Disease Called Alzheimer’s Kicked-In In That Instance.
She Was Going Crazy, Asking And Shouting, “Who Are You?!”
How The Condition Impacts All Of Us
I was so terrified that my mom acted frustrated enough to push me out of the house. I didn’t know that she has a disease called Alzheimer so I called my dad and told him everything. I stayed outside until he got home. And when my dad was about to enter the gate, my mom threw stuff at him. He was like, “it’s me, it’s me,” But my mom’s condition made her go hysterically crazy. My dad grabbed her arms and instructed us to get some piece of cloth that I could tie her hands with. I wasn’t sure about what my dad was trying to do, but I went and got one anyway.
It Was Making My Mom A Different, Uncontented Person. My Dad Managed To Control Her Rage, And He Began Crying.
“Honey, it’s me.” He was so sad, and his voice sounded so shaky that I began to ask, “What’s happening?” My mom looked so frightened and then all of a sudden she started crying. I was so confused. Then my mom asked us while crying her heart out, “Who are you, people?” Then that just struck me. I was now positive that something was wrong, and I looked at my dad, and he said, “Your mom is gradually losing her memory. She has Alzheimer’s disease. She wouldn’t be able to remember us”.
There is no treatment plan that cures a condition called Alzheimer’s or alters the process in the brain’s nerve cells. In the advanced stages of the condition, complications from severe loss of brain function — such as dehydration, malnutrition or infection — result in death.
The Common Emotional And Mental Dilemma
Hearing about this condition called Alzheimer’s disease was shocking. My dad told me that my mom had Alzheimer’s disease which was currently in the late stage of Alzheimer’s and might eventually die. I couldn’t bear to hear additional information regarding the condition because the thought of my mom not remembering her family because of Alzheimer’s disease is more devastating and heartbreaking. Alzheimer’s is a type of severe dementia that is a progressive state, memory loss or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to brain changes is the most common dementia like symptoms in the early stage. A person living with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s will typically start to experience symptoms that interfere with daily life. Some of these symptoms are temporarily slow. While moderate dementia cases have symptoms that are more pronounced.
As the condition progresses in daily living, other symptoms appear. The most common cause of dementia or Alzheimer’s is the abnormal build-up of proteins called beta-amyloid which forms plaques and tangles in and around the brain cells. The greatest known risk factor of Alzheimer’s is age, the risk goes up as you get older. However, a number of lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s can be modified. As I look at my mom, I can see her fears and worries about having to sit in front of two people she doesn’t recognize with her hands tied up.
Alzheimer’s Disease: My Mom Suffer Is Suffering
I then slowly moved away as I try to hold back my tears.
And when I got into my room, I cried it all out. I couldn’t imagine life with my mom having Alzheimer’s and not knowing who I was. Accepting Alzheimer’s disease was so emotionally disorienting that I couldn’t think straight. The emotional disorder crawled up to me, and I knew from that day on, I would have to endure the disheartening fact that my mom would never be able to remember me as her Alzheimer’s worsens.
People experiencing dementia like symptoms or Alzheimer’s also experience behavior changes and personality changes and memory problems. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, the damage is widespread and brain tissue has shrunk significantly. It’s important they participate in support groups like the Alzheimer’s Association.
Final Thoughts And Takeaways To Consider
I can say that my mom’s Alzheimer’s disorder makes her feel all the dismissible emotions. But I can’t dismiss it. I can’t handle Alzheimer’s too. This condition was so disheartening as my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed. I wish my family could find enough courage to deal with this Alzheimer’s disease situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Alzheimer’s do to a person?
Alzheimer’s affects a person’s health, causing dementia and various cognitive symptoms.
What is the main cause of Alzheimer’s?
The main cause of Alzheimer’s, a common cause of dementia, is not fully understood, but it is influenced by various risk factors and can have both early onset and late onset forms.
How do people deal with Alzheimer’s?
People deal with Alzheimer’s by managing cognitive impairment since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
What is a person with Alzheimer’s called?
A person with Alzheimer’s disease is often called someone with memory problems, and they may participate in clinical trials to find treatments for their memory loss.
Should you ask people with Alzheimer’s questions?
What is the best way to fight Alzheimer’s?
Can you recover from Alzheimer’s?
What are the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s?
What are the main 7 symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
How long can a person with Alzheimer’s live?
Who’s at risk For AD?
What foods reduce Alzheimer’s?
Is Alzheimer’s disease inherited from a mother or father?
People used to say that I made every task look easy. I often credited it to the fact that both my parents were technically geniuses (they were members of MENSA), and so I inherited their intelligence. They also taught me early that learning was fun and that enjoying sports was just as important; that’s why I worked hard to juggle my academics and remain the captain of the women’s basketball and football teams throughout high school.
Before going to college, I received multiple scholarship offers due to my athletic skills. I declined many of them at first sight, considering they only planned to make me play all day long. That’s not what I wanted. Although I loved sports, I loved studying even more. Hence, I agreed to go to an Ivy League university to take up medicine and play football.
When I informed my parents of what I would be doing in college, they expressed their concerns. It was not because they did not believe that I could do both. It was more because they were aware of how physically and mentally taxing both activities were. Besides, I would be playing as a hobby – I would go to that university on a football scholarship, so I was expected to train hard and play hard. However, my parents backed down when I insisted that I could do it and said that they would support me all the way.
When Medical Issues Appeared
I mentally prepared myself for the exhaustion that I might experience once the semester started. I thought my mental health was in order, got ahold of my schedule early, so I even wrote my daily agendas on a massive calendar. In my head, that was all I needed to do to stay sane until the winter break when I could chill at home for at least a week.
I managed to follow my schedule in the first month because my professors were busy with seminars and other stuff. Most of what I did was go to class, attend a lecture until the afternoon, and join the football training for newcomers until the evening. My parents called me one day, and I assured them that everything was still going as planned. Little did I know the symptoms of depression were about to creep up on me.
Then, after the winter break, I felt a shift in the winds. The professors started giving more assignments and pop quizzes, while my coaches wanted us to train up to nine o’clock at night. For the first time in my life, I experienced cramping, and I hated every minute of it.
I had to do two projects simultaneously while eating my dinner most of the time. If I needed a bathroom break, I would bring my book there. In between practices, I would also play an audiobook version of some of my textbooks. I would still ace my exams and excel in the games, but I started feeling like I never had an opportunity to relax and sleep for more than five hours.
This unhealthy routine went on until my sophomore year. It ended around that time because I collapsed on the way to class and was hospitalized afterward. The doctor initially diagnosed me with fatigue and dehydration, so I had to take a week off school and guzzle water whenever I could. However, when I returned to my usual routine, the dehydration returned, along with vertigo, migraine, and worse, balance disturbance. Meaning, I would often trip and fall, which was awful for a footballer.
In truth, I was dealing with depressive symptoms — a disorder. My parents eventually got me a new doctor, who diagnosed me with dysautonomia.
No Longer A Player
The diagnosis ended my football career. Mom and Dad said that it was a blessing in disguise since my condition could have gotten worse if I continued playing. Still, as I just said, ended my football career earlier than I expected, impacting my health, both physical and mental. I was so unprepared for it that the absence of the sport in my life caused me to fall into depression.
How I Reacted
At first, I tried to act like nothing was wrong and ignored the depression symptoms. I kept up with my studies and kept my friends close, but I could feel a major depression taking over. I would experience sudden bouts of sadness or anger that I couldn’t explain, and I was constantly exhausted. Depression felt so frustrating for me to fail to do the same things I have always done. I stayed in my room all the time, and I stopped participating in activities that I used to enjoy. I started to withdraw from my friends and family members, and I felt like I had no control over my emotions.
I was devastated. Football had been my life for so long that I didn’t know how to cope without it. I had no idea how to deal with major depression. I went through a period of mourning, lost the motivation to keep up with my studies, and felt overwhelmed by the thought of not being able to play my favorite sport ever again.
How My Parents Saved Me
My parents were worried about me and sought out healthcare providers’ help. With the help of my psychiatry therapist, I slowly started to come to terms with my situation. I had to accept that I was no longer a football player and was now living with dysautonomia and needed more health care.
The reality was that I was now living with a chronic illness and had to learn to manage it, because the effects of a major depressive episode were powerful. I found comfort in online support groups and learned to make lifestyle changes to better manage my condition. It was hard work, but I was determined to make the best of the situation.
I finally understood that my parents had been right all along – I was pushing myself too hard and needed to take a step back. I had to make sure that I was taking care of myself, both physically and mentally. With time, I learned how to find a balance between my studies and taking care of my health. I am now in my final year of medical school, and although I don’t play anymore, I still go to the games and cheer for my old team.
Coping With My New Reality
I still miss football, but I am grateful that I can now recognize the signs of my condition and take the necessary steps to manage it. I am determined to use the knowledge I have gained from my experience to help others living with dysautonomia. I am thankful for my parents who looked out for me and supported me throughout my journey. They have been my pillars of strength and have been a source of great comfort and motivation.
My experience with dysautonomia has taught me that it’s okay to accept help and that I need to take care of myself to succeed in life. It has also made me realize that nothing is worth sacrificing my health and well-being. I am now more aware of my limits and have learned to enjoy the small moments in life that I had previously taken for granted.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Gender Affect Depression?
There are depression symptoms differences in women and men. According to studies, depression rates among women are higher than those of men rates. One factor is that women reach puberty earlier than their men counterparts, meaning women reach a more emotional state first, which makes depression in women have different effects. Women typically develop depression at an earlier age, and this difference in depression may continue as they age, as supported by studies that have also been published.
Does Gender Count In Depression?
Yes, gender does count in depression, as studies have shown that depression rates are higher in women than in men. This is because women reach puberty sooner than men, leading to depression as women’s emotions are running high. The depression gap in rates for men and women will continue with age. However, it has also been found that aside from men and women, members of the LGBT community are also at a higher risk of depression or mental illness such as depression due to many different factors directly connected with their gender identity.
What Is The Most Reliable Symptom Of Depression?
Many different signs of depression are usually the most common among those diagnosed. Among these symptoms are the loss of energy and difficulty concentrating. This typically looks like a person being sluggish, and they always seem to be tired. Loss of energy can typically point you in the direction of depression immediately. Also, having suicidal thoughts or talking about how to commit suicide can be an indication as well. Of course, it is still wise that you have this checked with a doctor to avoid self-diagnosing.
Why Do More Women Experience Depression?
There are different risks and triggers for depression for both men and women. A study suggests that women tend to exhibit more internal symptoms of depression, while men tend to show more physical symptoms of depression. Women experience depression more than men because women go through more hormonal changes and brain chemical imbalances that cause irregularities in moods, leading to depression. Women also are susceptible to more forms of depression than men, especially during their monthly periods. Meanwhile, depression in men has different causes. The symptoms tend to be universal.
How Do I Know If I’m Bipolar?
It is always best that you have a doctor help you understand what you are going through to avoid further complications from self-diagnosis and self-treatment and medicating. However, some signs of bipolar disorder you can look out for are extreme changes in mood, extremely high periods of mania, very low periods of depression, and at times you might feel a mix of both an intense high and an extreme low or a mania and a depression at the same time.
Are Women More Stressed Than Men?
A study suggests that men and women have the same stress levels; however, women tend to be more vocal and report their stress levels rising than men. According to this study, women will more likely report their physical and emotional signs of stress than men. So, women are not more stressed. Women are more vocal regarding the stress they experience, which may help them handle depression better.
Who Is Most Affected By Stress?
No one specific group is most affected by stress more than the other as all of us experience a certain level of stress individually. Apart from this, what others may find stressful may not be stressful for you, and vice versa. Stress can be a good thing for us to experience because it can keep us on our toes and keep us moving; however, unhealthy amounts can cause many other health disorders, both physically and mentally.
What Are The Five Emotional Signs Of Stress?
We are all entitled to our feelings, and whatever may cause us stress should never be invalidated or minimized. There are five emotional signs of stress: anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and frustration. All these emotional signs can be caused by stress alone, and when you find yourself feeling this way, it might just be the perfect time to take a step back and breathe for a bit. A moment to yourself can never hurt.
What Are The Three Causes Of Stress?
Many different factors can cause stress for other people. Of course, we all have different triggers and limits. There is no specific cause for this, but it could be heavy workloads, pressure, being put on the spot, social gatherings, big life changes, and more. There will be an extra stressor for different people, so make sure that you take a step back and breathe when you start feeling stressed.
What Diseases Are Caused By Stress?
Many diseases are caused by stress, and most of them are pretty fatal, especially for specific age groups. We have cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, hypertension, depression, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and ulcers. There are more on this matter, so you must ensure that stress does not take over your life.
What Are The Three Most Stressful Things In Life?
Different people (children, teens, and adults) will have other stresses and triggers. We are all entitled to our own emotions and our levels of sensitivity to things that may or may not stress us out. However, the most common stressful situations in life are the death of a loved one, major illness or injury, and divorce. Apart from these three events, of course, there are more triggers such as job loss, moving from one home to another, bankruptcy, and maybe even finding out that you are adopted. Generally speaking, there will always be a difference in people’s reasons for being stressed.
What Are The Signs Of Poor Health?
Be mindful of your body and what you may be feeling because it might just be a sign of poor health. If you snore, or maybe the whites of your eyes are not white, perhaps you feel gassy. Even your pimples might be a sign of poor health. Ensure that you take extra care of yourself by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Remember, you only have one body, so if you do not take care of it, there is no redo.
What Does Stress Do To A Woman’s Body?
Generally, stress can tense up your muscles, while long-term stress can cause migraines, general body pains, and insomnia. However, for women, this can affect their reproductive systems where periods are delayed, which can negatively impact their ability to reproduce. Apart from that, stress can make PMS harder to cope with. Other things that could happen: irritability, frustration, and anxiety. As a woman, you should keep the stress levels at a minimum to make sure that there is lesser discomfort in your life.
How Do Females Cope With Stress?
According to research published in 2015, women tend to cope with stress in a more emotion-centered approach. What women will do is they will change their emotional response to stress and do what researchers call a “tending and befriending” approach where they will be reaching out and talking to other people about how they are feeling and what has made them feel this level of stress. Studies show that women have a higher tendency to report their stress than men, which is why it appears that women are more stressed than men.
What Are The Behavioral Symptoms Of Stress?
The behavioral symptoms of stress consist of these signs: not eating much or overeating – irregular and abnormal of the person, having sleep problems, substance use, no drive to do work and keeps on delaying, more interested in drinking alcohol (alcohol abuse, substance abuse, or drug abuse) or taking substances unlike before, showing nervous ticks and behaviors such as nail-biting or fidgeting. Also, there will be a chance of insomnia which can cause you to feel more tired by the day. When you see someone or experience any of these symptoms, make sure to relax and give yourself a moment to breathe and rest.
Luck must be on my side, considering my psychologist prescribed psychotherapy to me. I got diagnosed during summer break, so all I did was see my therapist every other day for four weeks. It helped me understand that I still had another passion for focusing on – medicine. I even worried that the end of my football career also signaled the end of my scholarship, but she also helped me see that my parents were willing and able to pay for my education out of their pockets. And if I didn’t want that, I could get student loans. Hence, when the next semester came, I studied hard, managed to join a sorority, and pretty much enjoyed my life as a student.
Why Is Depression More Common Among Females Than Males?
How Is Mental Health Affected By Gender? Are Males More Likely To Be Depressed?
You could be searching for a social anxiety forum to interact with others who have the same life experiences. Social anxiety forums are places to communicate with people who may have solutions to your issues, as they have tried being ‘in your shoes.’ A great forum provides a support system with active members that are swift in responding empathetically.
Although it is best to get into a forum committed exclusively to social anxiety disorder, other general mental health forums could also have certain boards focused on various disorders. The perfect forum is a combination of proactive mediators who keep track of posts and block improper content, a large-scale membership, and a convenient-to-use platform. Remember, though many forums provide moderators, they are probably not licensed mental health professionals.
Additionally, it is relevant to note that social anxiety forums are usually asynchronous in character, which means you and other participants can post and read any time you want. This varies from chat rooms, wherein it is commonly expected that you will get in and constantly chat for a particular time before exiting. This would mean that discussion forums don’t take as much time and can be joined when you are not that busy.
The best SAD forum for your personal situation is dependent on how calm and comfortable you are with other participants and how convenient it is to navigate the webpage. You can try getting into different social anxiety forums that you see online and choose which one matches your needs. Hopefully, after some time, you will develop new friendships in certain forums, and that could be the one you are most comfortable with.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get rid of social anxiety fast?
Practice controlled breathing
Be physically active.
Learn progressive muscle relaxation.
Don’t focus on yourself. Think about other people and things.
Begin with small steps.
Challenge your negative thoughts.
What does social anxiety feel like?
When you need to perform in front of a big crowd or audience and have social anxiety, you tend to sweat, tremble, and blush. You will feel that your heart is racing and your mind is going blank. Sometimes, you feel sick to your stomach, and you are nauseous. When you are speaking, you don’t make eye contact, and you tend to speak with a very soft voice.
Does social anxiety make you awkward?
When a person has a social anxiety disorder, social events or events where he needs to do a presentation or make a speech triggers anxiety and can elicit panic attacks, which is actually different compared to feeling awkward when you talk to others.
Why is social anxiety so common now?
Sadly, nobody seems to find the answer to this question, but many people blame this increase in anxiety on issues like sleep deprivation, decreased stigma, and social media.
What is the root cause of social anxiety?
The precise cause of social anxiety is not clear, but recent studies found the idea that it may be a result of a combination of genetics and the environment. Additionally, unpleasant experiences also may lead to illness, including abuse and bullying.
What can trigger social anxiety?
Stressful life events and environmental factors trigger social anxiety. These include divorce, teasing, abuse, death of a loved one, or maternal stress.
Does social anxiety ever go away?
It can be devastating and can have a tremendous effect on one’s life. For some, it improves as they mature, but for many others, it doesn’t disappear by itself without any treatment or medication. It is vital to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms.
Are you born with social anxiety?
Most experts agree that anxiety is hereditary, but environmental factors can also cause it. Meaning that it is likely to develop anxiety even without having someone in the family that has it. There is a significant connection between anxiety disorders and genetics that most of us do not understand, and more studies are necessary.
Can parents cause social anxiety?
Parents can cause their children to develop anxiety without knowing it, just with how they deal with their children. For instance, permitting your child not to go to school when they feel tense or anxious about going more likely pushes the child to be even more anxious when he goes the next day.
Can fighting parents cause social anxiety?
According to current research, young kids whose parents constantly fight or are too involved with their children’s lives have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety and depression.
Can you self-diagnose social anxiety?
You’ll know if you have social anxiety if you are worried about a presentation or a coming speech for weeks or months before it even happens. You not only feel tense, but you don’t get enough sleep. On the day of the feared event, you have extreme anxiety symptoms, including shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, and a racing heart.
What’s the best medication for social anxiety?
Despite the many types of medications available in the market, SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are frequently the front liners recommended and prescribed for longstanding social anxiety symptoms. Your mental health provider may recommend sertraline or paroxetine.
What helps social anxiety naturally?
Natural remedies that help reduce social anxiety include:
Regular physical activity or exercise
Learning stress reduction techniques
Sufficient amount of sleep daily
Participating in social events by communicating with people you are comfortable with
Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet.
How bad can social anxiety get?
If you ignore your social anxiety, it can definitely dominate your whole life. Anxiety can negatively affect your school, work, and other relationships. It can also lead to the development of negative behaviors like decreased self-confidence.
If you decide to join a social anxiety forum, be certain that you have read the specific forum’s guidelines. Most of today’s forums have a list of new subjects and which subjects are not supposed to be discussed, or whether or not you are allowed to post images and place links, among other things.
A social anxiety forum is a great way to reach out to others and share stories online, but it is not the proper platform to find help during moments of extreme anxiety or stress. In these moments, it is best to visit your doctor or mental health provider.
Do you know how some people receive a cancer diagnosis and get depressed initially but manage to shake it off so that they could get treated better?
It did not happen to me when I found out that I had dysautonomia, an autoimmune disorder. It was technically not as scary as any form of cancer, but I felt like I was on the brink of death at the time. That was especially true since my doctor was super honest that there were no available cures for autoimmune disorders.
“But the silver lining is that you can reduce the symptoms by living healthy,” he said.
It was rude of me to say it out loud, but I screamed in my head, “Was that a pep talk? It did nothing to me.”
I went on a hermit phase soon after that. I already lived alone and worked from home, so I did not have to have awkward conversations with other people and pretend that I was okay. For at least two weeks, I managed to get by with the bare minimum. I only slept when I could not keep my eyes open anymore; I only ate when it felt like my large intestine had consumed my small intestine and wanted more. However, my parents’ monthly visit to my house slipped from my mind, so we all had the shocks of our lives when I opened the front door for them.
For me, it was because I had not seen anything outside of my house in a while, and the bright light almost blinded me. In my parents’ case, various things almost gave them a heart attack – the darkness shrouding my place, the dust covering the floors, and the smell coming off my body due to not bathing for God knew how long. My mother dragged me to the bathroom, turned the shower on without a word, and pushed me under the water – clothes and all.
“Mom!” I exclaimed as I fumbled for the shower knob frantically. The water was cold, and I was not ready for it.
Instead of taking pity on me, my mother crossed her arms over her chest. “What happened to you, baby? I had seen you get heartbroken before, but you never did anything this stupid.”
I looked at my mother and saw that her eyes were filled with concern, even though her stance showed toughness. That’s when I broke down and told her everything I felt about my autoimmune disease.
“Aw, baby girl, I’m so sorry to hear that,” Mom said, her features softening. She helped me clean up and get fresh clothes on my body. When we left my bedroom, my father already started cooking lunch while vacuuming my place. I cried again because I suddenly realized that I was too lucky in life to stay depressed.
When all the emotions subsided, my mother handed a book to me. “I know you love reading, and I’m glad to pick up a book that you seem to need right now. You can check it out later,” she uttered.
My parents stayed until dinner, so I only got to crack my new book open around 10 o’clock. Its title was The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.
What is happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky?
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, you experience happiness when your positivity and sense of contentment are mixed with the thought that you are blessed and live a meaningful life.
What determines happiness according to Sonja?
Based on research, half of your happiness depends on your genes. However, the same study reveals that the environment affects it. If your genetics make you susceptible to experiencing pleasure, but you are surrounded by mean people, poverty, or famine, your happiness can take a dip.
What are the 12 strategies of happiness?
Count Your Blessings: Take time to appreciate every single favor or blessing you have received over the week. You may also thank everyone who has helped you achieve them.
Cultivate Optimism: Since problems are inevitable, you should try to be as optimistic as possible all the time. Though it may not resolve your issues, it may give you the strength to stay resilient.
Avoid Comparing/Overthinking: Overthinkers tend to experience less happiness than those who remain calm and chill. The same goes for people who love to make social comparisons. You can only be happy when you stop doing both.
Practice Acts of Kindness: Practicing an act of kindness does not essentially mean that you need to offer to tithe or give money to homeless folks whenever you see them. It can be as effortless as assisting a senior citizen in crossing the street, carrying the groceries for your heavily pregnant neighbor, etc.
Nurture Relationships: No man should remain alone because that prevents you from being infected by others’ happiness and affection. Thus, it would help if you started nurturing your relationship with everyone in your life.
Try Engaging Activities: Boring activities will never make you happy. If you don’t feel satisfied right now, try looking for some activities that you have always found fascinating.
Enjoy Momentary Pleasures: You may have little moments of happiness every day that you may not always pay attention to due to your busy schedule. In case happiness lacks in your life, it is best to enjoy such momentary pleasures to get by.
Commit to Goals: It feels depressing to start working on a goal and leave it after some time. You will only be happy when you commit to it and achieve your goals.
Develop Coping Mechanisms: Pain, hurt, and grief is parts of life. No matter what you try, you cannot avoid feeling them all the time. But once you develop coping mechanisms even before experiencing those feelings, it may not be impossible for you to be happy.
Learn to Forgive: Being unable to forgive entails that your heart and mind are clouded by anger and pain. Such emotions push away your ability to experience happiness; that’s why you should learn how to forgive.
Practice Spirituality: Atheists and agnostics may not believe it, but many spiritual and religious people feel happy with the thought of a higher being watching over and protecting them. Though you need not follow any religion, you can explore your spirituality and find happiness in the process.
Look After Your Body: Taking care of your physical health can make you happy since you have no ailments to deal with. Hence, try to exercise, laugh, eat healthy stuff, and sleep as much as possible.
What determines the happiness pie chart?
Various theories state that the happiness pie chart is divided into genetics (50%), state of mind (40%), and life circumstances (10%). Meaning, if you only think of genetics, you have a 50% chance of feeling happy all the time. However, if your brain is filled with worrying thoughts and finds yourself in a sticky situation, it may alter your happiness level.
What are the three keys to a happy life?
What are the seven keys to happiness?
Live However You Want: The primary key to happiness is living a life you have chosen. Other people may dissuade you from doing so and force you to do otherwise, but that will bum you out in the end.
Live in the Present: Harboring regrets about what you could have done in the past would never make you happy. You need to let go of those and move forward.
Stay Grateful: Ungratefulness leads to unhappiness, considering you cannot appreciate anyone or anything. To be happy, you should stay grateful for what you have.
Start Exercising: Exercising regularly allows your pores to open and gives the toxins in your body a way out. Besides, it causes the body to produce endorphins, which are knowns as happy hormones.
Practice Generosity: People say that it’s better to be the giver than the taker to ensure that happiness will fill your life. Thus, you can be generous by helping the less-fortunate folks in any way possible.
Smile and Laugh a Lot: Laughing and smiling genuinely can do wonders for your mood. Not only will it boost your happiness, but it will also make others happy when they see what you’re doing.
Be Surrounded by Positive Thinkers: It matters to surround yourself with positive-thinking individuals, especially when you are sad. They can uplift your spirits and influence you to find something to feel happy about.
What is the best way to be happy?
The best way to be happy is by smiling, even when you have no reason to do so. It may feel challenging to smile if you are angry or blue, but you need to force the corners of your lips to turn upwards. This is when you must embody the fake-it-till-you-make-it saying. Though your smile is fake at first, it may eventually become real once the endorphins get released.
What is the difference between joy and happiness?
Happiness is a positive emotion we experience when we feel satisfaction and contentment after doing something. For instance, you feel happy when you finish an exam, say ‘yes’ to your boyfriend’s marriage proposal, or get the keys to your new house.
Meanwhile, joy is felt when we see something good come out of our selflessness. For instance, you donate an internal organ to your ailing loved ones, let neighbors stay in your house after a hurricane, or send your siblings to school. It is not as common as happiness, considering not everyone is willing to sacrifice for others.
What percent of happiness is genetic?
Genetics occupies 50% of happiness.
I got so engrossed in Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book that I did not put it down until I reached the back cover. The next day, I called my doctor to tell him that I was finally willing to find a way around dysautonomia. I was ready to be happy again.
Being an individual living with dysautonomia or autonomic disorder is very challenging. It is a complex condition brought about by the dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Some of the complications and forms of dysautonomia include Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH), Vasovagal Syncope, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Birth Dysautonomia, danlos syndrome, orthostatic hypotension, and many more.
What’s unique about dysautonomia is that most symptoms are invisible. The dysautonomia symptoms are difficult to recognize from the outside. Only the patients themselves can acknowledge that they are housing dysautonomia. This is because all signs are related to (tachycardia) heart rate issues, fatigue, dizziness, migraines, blood pressure issues, insomnia, etc.
Individuals with dysautonomia (particularly with tachycardia syndrome pots) tend to keep their pain within themselves since many people do not know what’s going on in their bodies. They don’t share they have dysautonomia because of the fear of getting judged. The fear stems from the fact that they’re afraid others won’t believe what they’re saying about dysautonomia. This reality takes a toll on the mental health of patients with dysautonomia.
If you know someone who’s experiencing dysautonomia, it is essential to show your support to them. Here are ways on how to go about it:
Learn About Their Condition
It’s hard to empathize with a person who has dysautonomia if you don’t fully understand what they’re going through. Therefore, the first step that you should find the details of dysautonomia. Since dysautonomia a broad term, you can further look into postural tachycardia syndrome, orthostatic stress, orthostatic symptoms, and autonomic dysfunction depending on the situation.
In general, dysautonomia is a term for a group of disorders where the automatic nervous system does not function normally. Dysautonomia covers heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, body temperature, heart rate, hormones, bladder, and many other functions. In order to diagnose the form of dysautonomia, a tilt table test is conducted. Physical symptoms of dysautonomia typically include orthostatic intolerance, or the inability to stand long without feeling dizzy.
Ensure that you know what dysautonomia is all about, its symptoms, its possible treatments, etc. This way, it’s easier for you to relate to what they’re going through, especially if they’re frustrated about something.
Understand that dealing with dysautonomia patients is not easy. If you have dysautonomia, you’ll feel complicated emotions day in and day out. It can be a rollercoaster ride of good and bad days due to their chronic conditions.
On days that they’re doing well, they can proceed with life as if they’re normal. Yes, they may need some medication to address dysautonomia, but they still look like the person they were before housing dysautonomia.
On their bad days with dysautonomia, however, things are very different. They might feel a little bit sluggish and out of energy brought about by dysautonomia. It’s also difficult for them to force themselves to move since they need to be careful about their blood pressure as well as migraine attacks. Life under dysautonomia is pretty unpredictable, so they have to think twice before doing something.
Since dysautonomia can feel debilitating, it can also lead to anxiety disorders, panic disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychiatric disorders, and more. In addition, studies have shown that health patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia POTS experience cognitive impairment and brain fog.
To give a patient with postural orthostatic tachycardia or dysautonomia a little bit of peace of mind, your role as parents, friends, or family members is to treat the patient normally. The orthostatic tachycardia syndrome pots situation makes it challenging when they feel that the people around them are walking on shattered glass.
Although you know that they cannot join some activities, they still feel good that they get invited on certain occasions. Invite them to go to movies or walk around the park should your circle of friends decide to hang out together. Yes, they might reject your offer. However, they’ll feel happier because they remain included despite the mental health of dysautonomia patients.
The mental health of patients with dysautonomia often find themselves stressed with their everyday lives. Their physical condition bothers them, but their stress often comes from the mental aspect. Their worries stem from difficulty completing day-to-day tasks, conducting stressful doctor checkups, and explaining their illness to the people around them.
To be able to address this, experts recommend pursuing some creative outlets. It includes painting, listening to music, reading, watching TV, writing, and more. These are creative activities that will distract them from thinking about the stressors they are facing. These activities also provide their body with tranquility and more control which may improve their symptoms. It can also improve their cognitive function.
Exploring these stress management activities with them will inspire more especially because it’s more enjoyable to do these things with friends and family. Add to this the friendly competition that can add thrill and enjoyment.
Keep In Touch With Them
Individuals with dysautonomia also experience social isolation. It’s harder for younger people to attend school since they get exempted from activities. Meanwhile, older ones isolate themselves because they feel ashamed of having this particular illness. They feel embarrassed that they’re vulnerable and not as strong as they were before.
As a friend or family member, you must keep in touch with them to keep them from feeling abandoned and left out. Make sure to call them once in a while, so they know that you’re always there for them. You may even visit them at times, should your schedule permits.
Keep in mind, however, to not be too pushy. Don’t force yourself if they’re still not ready to let you in. Ask how they’re feeling once in a while but if they’re unwilling to answer and open up, let them. Just letting them know that you’re there is enough.
Living with an illness, such as dysautonomia, is challenging. Individuals experiencing this condition need a support system that will help them go through this journey. Being there for them makes it easier for them to overcome these roadblocks.
Is Dysautonomia A Movement Disorder?
What Are Some Interesting Facts About Dysautonomia?
Who Is At Risk For Dysautonomia?
Can Patients Live A Normal Life With Dysautonomia?
What Activities Can Patients Do With Dysautonomia?
What Can Make Dysautonomia Worse?
Can People With Autoimmune Disorder Work?
Does An Autoimmune Disorder Always Progress?
What Is A Successful Treatment For An Autoimmune Disorder?
Can You Have More Than One Type Of Autoimmune Disorder?
Do People Recover From An Autoimmune Disorder?
Do People With Dysautonomia Suffer From Cognitive Deficits?
What Organs Are Affected By Dysautonomia?
Can Dysautonomia Affect Digestion?
What Triggers Dysautonomia?
How Do You Sleep With Dysautonomia?
What Are Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome POTS Symptoms?
In these trying times, having a reliable support system may already be considered a luxury. The current public health crisis stripped off the “normal” people knew. The pandemic brought about increased uncertainty and heightened anxiety to those already suffering from it. People wake up every day not knowing when everything would be stable again.
According to Allison Abrams, LCSW-R, a licensed psychotherapist and mental health advocate, “Each one of us is dealing with the consequences of this public health problem in various forms, whether health-wise, economic, or other.” She adds that “All of us will react differently depending on our external and internal resources, our strength and our psychological wellness. Don’t hesitate to seek support.”
The effects, however, of this public health crisis may be more severe for people having dysautonomia. They are more at risk of developing illnesses in the mental health of dysautonomia patients or even aggravating the current situation. At this point is where the role of their family as a support system comes into play.
Dysautonomia As A Disease
Dysautonomia is a disorder of the nervous system affecting other parts of the body, such as the heart and the blood vessels. There is no known cure to this disease. Usually, the treatment of dysautonomia is supportive.
Although dysautonomia is not a psychological disease, it still affects brain functions. Also, it may contribute to the stress experienced by patients daily. Medical experts say that strategies and techniques relating to psychological support are helpful for dysautonomia patients.
In line with that, stress management techniques are helpful not only in providing for temporary distractions but also in relieving symptoms and giving a sense of order and control. These techniques include yoga, meditation, massage, and acupuncture.
Increasing Escapism In A Public Health Crisis
In the context of a public health crisis, finding and maintaining a support system is vital. Most people are stuck at home or have their movements limited due to fear of contracting the virus, thereby further increasing the numbers. With that, there is no more separation between personal space and workspace. The tendency then is for people to feel burned out faster.
To compensate, people resort to different coping mechanisms, which may be healthy or unhealthy. Some people turn to activities that alleviate stress and help contribute to increased wellness. These activities include working out, meditating, gardening, baking, cooking, making music, writing, dancing, and walking.
On the flip side, other people resort to activities such as excessive sleeping, playing games, binge-watching television shows, and occasional drinking or smoking. These activities may well be a sign of “escapist” behavior, a mental diversion habit resorted to by people when faced with various stressors.
How The Family Can Help
Friends, apart from family members, also form part of a support system for dysautonomia patients. Patients can communicate with friends through various platforms, such as email, text messaging, and video calls or conferencing. However, for the following reasons, the family may be considered primary support for said patients.
Providing Immediate Support
As most families live together under the same roof, family members can provide immediate support, whether emotional, financial, or psychological. It is in contrast with the patient having to resort to seeking help from friends, who, because of the public health crisis, may be living at a distance from the patient.
Sense Of Togetherness
More than anything, dysautonomia patients have to feel that they are not alone. It helps in managing the stress that they accumulate. Having family members who are living under the same roof, probably a few doors away from the patient, can help tremendously, especially during times when the patient resorts to unhealthy coping mechanisms to alleviate stress.
Having family members who have lived with the patient for a longer time than any other friend or loved ones can help the patient be better understood. This advantage is visible in terms of the patient’s reaction to particular situations, or in dealing with the patients’ stressors. In turn, the family members can extend help faster and more effectively.
In sum, handling stress can be challenging, especially when we have a public health crisis. There are stressors on a regular basis. But there may be additional anxiety on top of those stressors since there is no certainty on how we move forward with the situation.
Generally, people have different ways to cope with stress. However, dysautonomia patients may have a tougher time dealing with the current situation, in addition to worrying about battling their disease.
Therefore, the family is an essential mix in the recipe for a dependable and effective support system for dysautonomia patients. Family members can offer help in various forms, all of which would likely contribute to the overall increase in the health and wellness of the patient.
Last year, I finally came at peace with the fact that I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). I got diagnosed with this illness in 2018 at the height of my career as a marketing consultant. The news hit me so hard that I soon fell into depression, and it did not feel like I could continue living again.
But my family and doctor this never lost hope in me. My parents stayed in my house for the most part, while my doctors called me to check on how I was doing. My bitterness started to dissolve gradually until I no longer felt like ending my life. Soon enough, I was able to accept that POTS would forever be a part of me and that I would have to work around it.
I picked myself up and contacted my old clients so that I could work from home. This setup was more ideal for me than going back to the office because I did not need to push myself to get up when I was hurting. I managed to regain my social life, too, and even attend some parties.
However, my life changed again when the governor of California ordered us to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak. The regulation was notably stricter for me than anyone else because I was technically immuno-compromised. I had to get my groceries delivered; none of my friends could visit me.
Did it sadden me? Yes, of course. But did I wish there was no quarantine? No way—not with the coronavirus still on the loose. Here’s why I won’t ever break the stay-at-home order.
It Is Safe At Home
Your house is the best place to be at the moment—walls shielding you from the people who may be carriers of the virus. You are not brushing against strangers who may not even know they have it, either.
Because of the POTS, it is effortless for you to catch the coronavirus. But there is no need to keep on thinking if you already have COVID-19 if you avoid going out.
I Don’t Have A Death Wish
That’s correct—I have no dream of dying before I even turn 40 years old. Perhaps during my depressed days, I did; however, it’s very well at the back of my head at present. I love the life that I have, even though it does not seem too exciting for other people.
This is the reason why quarantine is ideal for me. I can imagine myself contracting COVID-19 in less than an hour of staying outside. If POTS’ extreme symptoms have not killed me before, the overlapping effects of the coronavirus may do it.
It Saves Everyone From Worrying
I heard from the news that COVID-19 patients were not supposed to accept visitors wherever they might be. Their parents, siblings, and close friends, therefore, had no other choice but to talk to their infected loved ones online. However, we all know that it does nothing to reduce their worries.
Now, I am aware that I already brought a lifetime worth of stress to my parents when I developed depression after my POTS diagnosis. They no longer need to go through that again, so it is best not to risk my health by breaking the stay-at-home order.
I feel a deep sense of appreciation for life now more than ever. Sadly, a lot of people have not been so lucky to get away from or win against the coronavirus. However, those of us who do not have COVID-19 have an opportunity to avoid becoming new hosts of the virus by staying at home. Thus, whether you have an incurable disease like me or not, follow what the governors tell you to do at this time.