Guest Blog: The Challenges of Being a Teenager with a Chronic Illness, by Olivia Cyr

Today, I’m thrilled to have a guest blogger, Olivia Cyr. She is seventeen and lives with a few chronic conditions including dysautonomia, OCD, and anxiety. Olivia has been featured on The Mighty, and her perspective as a teenager dealing with these issues is important.


Being a teenager is hard. I don’t think that many would dispute that fact. Between boy/girl drama, friendship struggles, school, teachers, homework, a job for some, and more, teens often don’t get the credit they deserve for juggling all they have. 

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Special Guest: Interview with Author and PANS Survivor Madeline Dyer

Today, I’m so excited to introduce all of you to author Madeline Dyer, who has just published a gripping collection of poems, Captive, on her journey through Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, aka PANS.

“I just want to get better

and see the stars

and believe in hope again.”

As someone who has lived with this condition myself for over half my life, I can say that I felt this opening poem, and the pages that follow, on a deep level.  PANS has a way of making the sufferer feel completely hopeless, and this sentiment is one that just about all of us have felt while in the depths of the condition. Admittedly, I’m not a poet and don’t read much poetry, but I was able to get into this book.

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Guest Blog: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

This week, I’m honored to have my first guest blogger ever, Mary McManus, MSW, the mother of 32 year-old Ruth Anne who has PANS. This story is an important one for raising awareness of PANS in adults because so many others, like Ruth Anne, have spent years pursuing psychiatric interventions to little avail, unaware they have a treatable medical condition…


The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

Mary McManus, MSW 

What is more challenging than watching your adult daughter’s life fall apart before your very eyes? It was having been a social worker for 25 years and not being able to help her using “traditional methods” of intervention.

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