Living with a chronic illness can take a significant impact on not only your physical health, but emotional and psychological health. In a recent IG live with Lia Avellino, the director of head and heart at The Well, we discussed about how to manage your mental health when dealing with chronic conditions such as endometriosis.
Here are our key takeaways!
Mental health struggles:
Dealing with chronic illnesses such as endometriosis can put you at odds with your body, and you may start resenting your body for the pain you are undergoing. If you’re undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, it can be hard to believe in the reality of your pain.
Often times, chronic illness warriors do one of two things:
- Deny the pain, because acknowledging it can be seen as a weakness in society.
- Identify too strongly with the pain and think the condition defines your life, when there are many other positives in your life.
The struggle lies in finding the balance between the two. Acknowledge your pain, and recognize the toll it may take on your body, but know that no illness can suppress you and there are still many great things you can achieve in life!
Tips to manage mental health:
Managing your mental health is easier said than done. However, to help you on your journey, here are some recommendations from Lia Avellino that can help you gain control of your mental health struggles.
- Recognize your pain, and don’t feel a need to “get over it”, because it impacts a significant amount of your life.
- Know that there are others that understand ur pain and have similar experiences. Check in with your inner circle of close family and friends and find a community of survivors that can provide emotional support and ease your mental pain.
- Love your pain: Although this might be difficult, be kind to pain, hold the part of you that hurt, and develop a better relationship with your pain so you can be at peace with it.
- Understand the root cause of your pain and track it so you can learn as much about your body as possible. After understanding your symptoms clearly, find the support/treatment that works best for you, whether it be group therapy, individual therapy, acupuncture, meditation, etc. Do what feels best to you!
Combating social stigma:
The social stigma behind menstruation and cramps have prevented many women from being able to speak out about their pain. While it is not easy to share stories of suffering or loss, telling others about your journey can help others find solace in similar experiences. At Hormone University, we are deeply committed to eliminating the stigma of illnesses and eliminating individuals to speak their truths.
Join us in this effort by being open with yourself and others when discussing your health. Don’t shy away from taboo subjects so we can normalize talking about our health! Encourage change in the workplace and communities to create a system where individuals feel safe to speak out about their needs and pain without fearing judgement from society.