Your Emotional Health Matters
You are certainly not alone if you’ve found yourself struggling with depression, anxiety and/or low self esteem. Any injury, illness and pain can and will take an emotional toll on even the strongest of people, myself included. I want to remind you that you have done nothing wrong. You do not deserve to suffer, nor are you a lesser person because you are struggling. In fact, I’m going to argue that you will become stronger, wiser and, over the long term, a much more compassionate and caring family member and friend.
Here are some articles and links that I hope will help educate you and give you lots of options. Remember, there is no shame nor blame here. We’re all IC patients, we’ve been there and we’re here to support each other.
A Message Of Hope
When patients ask me how I cope, I share that my first year was very rough. I was confused, frightened of the pain and anxious about my future. I had no idea what IC was. I had no information to help me nor had I ever talked with anyone else with IC. Of course, I was drinking a quart of cranberry juice a day in a desperate attempt to get better. It was a support group leader who first gave me hope and then it was a doctor who gave me a kick in the pants! Here’s how I keep my positivity up! Read A Message of Hope
Denial Can Be A Painful Lesson
It’s easy to disregard self-help strategies when a pill promises a quick relief for pain and discomfort. It’s important that you understand that what you do each day has the potential of either helping or hurting your medical condition and emotional health. If you struggle with bladder symptoms, for example, there are simple things that can be done at home that can dramatically reduce pain so that you may not need pain care. Modifying your diet is the perfect example.
Some of you reading this might not believe that or, worse, don’t want to be bothered. You want someone else to make it go away. The problem my friends is that this is YOUR life and YOUR responsibility. You’ve got to take charge, and that includes making good, healthy changes in your life, like giving up smoking, junk food or coffee. Some of you will say “I’ll never give it up. I love it” and will likely pay the price in pain. Others will see the direct connection between various foods, stress and discomfort and will happily make a change because they WANT to feel better. I challenge you to LISTEN to those who have been down this road before. Learn from two patient stories! Read two patient stories here!
Anxiety and IC
It might surprise you to learn that anxiety is a strongly related condition to IC and pelvic pain. It was the human genome project which made the connection. Researchers trying to determine which section of the human genome correlated with anxiety discovered that a large, distinct subgroup of anxiety patients also had interstitial cystitis. Urologists then confirmed that most of their IC patients also struggled with alarming levels of anxiety. We share information on anxiety and offer suggestions on what you can do to gain control. Read more here!
Depression & Suicidal Thoughts
If you’re struggling with depression and interstitial cystitis, you are certainly not alone. Each year about 6.7% of U.S adults experience major depressive disorder. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime and their average age of onset is 32 years old. It’s also true that patients struggling with chronic pain may also have suicidal thoughts. Again, you are not alone. Read more here!
Holiday Survival Tips
Every year, IC patients ask us what they can do to help make their holidays more comfortable and happy. If you’re a newly diagnosed patient, this may be your first holiday season with IC. Several questions come to mind, such as eating our favorite holiday foods, traveling comfortably, explaining IC to family over holiday tables and more. Who better to share their tips on surviving the holidays than our own members. Here are ten great holiday survival strategies! Check out our holiday survival tips here!
Reading Frannie Rose is like receiving a hug when you need it the most. Author of Fixing Frannie, she is a patient-advocate, inspirational speaker and writer on chronic illness, spirituality and faith. She has, over the years, taken numerous questions from patients that are timeless and well worth sharing. You can find her today providing retreats and workshops through One Simple Voice.