As someone with a chronic illness that was once misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder, but who also does have mental health issues, it’s a constant balancing act trying to understand my brain while convincing doctors that mental illness is only one of my problems.
For eight years, the conclusion was that I was sick because I was depressed.(Since when did depression cause visible joint inflammation?) Even as a kid, I knew better than to believe that.
I was only thirteen the first time a doctor misattributed my physical illness to my poor mental health, but I knew that I knew myself and my body better than a doctor who’d just met me:
“I’m not sick because I’m depressed,” I growled.“I’m depressed because I’m sick.”
With Easter Week and Passover upon us, I’ve found myself face to face with the very thing my chronic illness has changed the most: my faith.
For years, I would’ve told you it was the most important thing in my life.All through high school, I was a leader in my youth group and involved in several ministries.I used to read scriptures daily because I wanted to learn more about God.I used to pray often because I wanted to be closer to Him.I even used to be enthralled by dense theological tomes, started to teach myself biblical Greek, and at one point considered going into ministry full-time.
But then I got ill.
At seventeen, I suddenly developed an extreme case of OCD. I’d already had OCD smoldering in the background of my mind for six years, which I’d concealed from numerous therapists due to shame, but out of nowhere it became incapacitating and all-consuming.
Today is World Encephalitis Day, and I want to take a moment to shed some light on a certain controversy within the PANS and encephalitis communities:
Is PANS a form of autoimmune encephalitis, or is it something else?
Back in 2014, in a matter of weeks, I went from being a typical college student earning straight-A’s to a psychiatric cripple who was afraid to eat and didn’t want to exist anymore.I also lost the ability to walk, was overcome with constant involuntary movements, and couldn’t stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time.
How could a person develop sudden-onset Tourette’s, narcolepsy, bipolar symptoms, and severe coordination problems simultaneously in isolation from each other?
Hi everyone, I’m excited to share that tomorrow (Saturday) is the launch of the first-ever teleconference support group for teens and adults with PANS, AE, Lyme and other similar/related conditions. Let this be your official invitation!
Join me at 2PM EST (7PM GMT) tomorrow.
Call (605) 472-5395, and enter the meeting ID: 339705.
For the last twelve years of being sick, I’ve been embarrassed by all of the ways my disease makes me “different” from everyone else.I may try to fit in, but I’m always waiting for the moment when people discover the truth about me.
Today is PANS Awareness Day 2018. There’s so much I could write as someone who has lived with PANS for most of my life—even more than I’ve already said in the 100,000+ words I’ve written in previous posts on this blog.
In 2012, when I developed an extreme case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder overnight, all I wanted was to get better—not to spend the next six years fighting to get treatment for a “controversial” disease.However, when conventional therapies failed, and I rapidly declined after Strep and mono two years later, only steroids were able to help my severe psychiatric symptoms. It was then that I realized the truth wasn’t always easy to accept: Continue reading “These 3 Myths about PANS Are Ruining Lives: A Response to Misguided Medicine”→