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What is Chronic Illness?

A chronic condition is a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time.

In early 2014, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto, a seemingly harmless auto immune disorder not heard of much in India commonly. I was already in Stage 2 by then, which meant, this had been it in my system for more than two years now. Over a period of time apart from progressing to stage 3 it has opened a Pandora’s Box in my life. Each day is a surprise with new symptoms, new reactions leading to new actions. This pushed me to understand my illness and its co-relation with my mental health with an aim to heal myself, but what I discovered was something entirely different.

It is then that I understood, how our culture actually pushes women to ignore their health, to an extent that when the damage is discovered, it is beyond repair. I have grown up witnessing my mother and aunts often advising me and my sisters to not act like a ‘delicate darling’. My sister, let’s call her A, got unusually painful periods. But instead of exploring it medically for some issue, she was always chided for being a work shrinker at home. ‘It’s all in your head’, being their favourite justification for any ailment. Decades later, I was sitting before a doctor who used the same words for my failing health, because autoimmune disorders can often go undiagnosed for years in a country like mine and hence, he couldn’t see anything wrong with my health.

It is then that I understood, how our culture actually pushes women to ignore their health, to an extent that when the damage is discovered, it is beyond repair. I have grown up witnessing my mother and aunts often advising me and my sisters to not act like a ‘delicate darling’.

The Beginning

Back at home, my mom and my aunts couldn’t eat before the men folk, no matter what their condition was. The ability to say ‘No’ for something as simple as cooking dinner was missing largely. With the passage of time, I saw how each one of them had developed some or the other ailment resulting in chronic pain apart from having mental health issues. Unfortunately, none of them took it seriously or thought of any co-relation, well because, conditioning!

They are conditioned to believe that they can never come first. Their priority always has to be their house, husbands, children and family. Everything about them their dreams, desires, wants and needs were of no importance. When I tried breaking this cycle by pushing my mother to say “no”, when she wasn’t well enough to cook or do something she enjoyed, it always backlashed into a huge guilt trip resulting into an emotional breakdown further adding to the already poor health.

A Pause

It didn’t take me long to realize how all these were indirectly responsible for my failing health too. Having an invisible chronic illness means, you are constantly being scrutinized, judged and often misunderstood. Added to it is this predilection towards females. I sometimes have spent a lot of sleepless nights in a row as a hyperactive mind is a side-effect of this condition. All it takes is one random thought, to render me sleepless for the whole night. Some days getting up from the bed seems like a chore. Every inch of your body screams in pain. Constant memory fogs challenge your movements. Any kind of interaction becomes a challenge, leave alone managing day to day routine activities. It tends to get extremely lonely at times.

Also read: PTSD: What It Is And How It Affects Mental Health

The New Beginning

I was fortunate to come across Chronic Pain India, during this phase of my life. They are working towards spreading awareness about chronic illness. They formed a closed support group on Facebook. This was one of their many attempts at providing support, to chronic pain illness sufferers. Chronic Pain India is the brain child of Dr. Anubha Mahajan, who is a pain warrior herself. Amongst fellow pain warriors, I found solidarity here like none other. As this support group reassured me that I was not alone in this journey. Dr. Anubha Mahajan – Founder, Chronic Pain India

It is in random conversations and discussions with Dr. Mahajan, that I understood Chronic Pain in depth. According to a study 61% people that were coming to primary health centre were coming for pain. She further shared, “Women also tend to develop suicidal tendencies, because of being constantly in pain. Just because it is invisible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!” Her words to me, were a solace. For it meant someone out there understood how I felt and what I felt. That silent bond of understanding was enough to sail through some of the darkest times.

According to a study 61% people that were coming to primary health centre were coming for pain. She further shared, “Women also tend to develop suicidal tendencies, because of being constantly in pain. Just because it is invisible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!”

Understanding Life

In our society, it is high time that women learn to prioritize their health. They need to know that, “It is okay to care for your health and that doesn’t make you selfish“. Regular checkups should be a part of our routine along with proper medical guidance. Women need to let go of this social conditioning and undo the lessons which are harmful for their health. At the end of the day, our health is in our hands.

Also read: Why Are Unmarried Women Stigmatised While Accessing Sexual Health Services?

Today, looking back I realise, how much our upbringing matters. We are taught to love but never taught how to stop when it begins to hurt. We are taught to care for others. But are never taught, to extend that same love, care and respect for ourselves. It is time to get rid of such stereotypical mindset and redefine life!


Featured Image Source: Tricycle-The Buddhist Review

3 COMMENTS

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This pushed me to brand my illness and its co-relation with my mental effectively being with an map to heal myself, but what I discovered changed into something solely assorted.It’s far then that I understood, how our custom really pushes females to ignore their effectively being, to an extent that when the damage is discovered, it is beyond restore. I fill grown up witnessing my mother and aunts in general advising me and my sisters to now not act relish a ‘gentle darling’. My sister, let’s call her A, bought surprisingly painful classes. However as a substitute of exploring it medically for some anxiousness, she changed into consistently chided for being a work shrinker at dwelling. ‘It’s all in your head’, being their favorite justification for any ailment. Decades later, I changed into sitting sooner than a health care provider who extinct the identical words for my failing effectively being, because autoimmune concerns can in general slither undiagnosed for years in a nation relish mine and hence, he couldn’t glimpse something detrimental with my effectively being. It’s far then that I understood, how our custom really pushes females to ignore their effectively being, to an extent that when the damage is discovered, it is beyond restore. I fill grown up witnessing my mother and aunts in general advising me and my sisters to now not act relish a ‘gentle darling’.The BeginningBack at dwelling, my mother and my aunts couldn’t eat sooner than the males folk, it doesn’t subject what their condition changed into. The ability to claim ‘No’ for something as easy as cooking dinner changed into missing largely. With the passage of time, I saw how each and every body among them had developed some or the assorted ailment main to power be anxious as a substitute of having mental effectively being concerns. Sadly, none of them took it seriously or belief of any co-relation, effectively because, conditioning!They’re conditioned to imagine that they’ll by no methodology approach first. Their priority consistently must be their home, husbands, younger other folks and family. The total lot about them their dreams, desires, desires and desires were of no importance. After I tried breaking this cycle by pushing my mother to claim “no”, when she wasn’t effectively enough to cook dinner or discontinuance something she loved, it consistently backlashed into a enormous guilt day out resulting into an emotional breakdown additional adding to the already heart-broken effectively being.A PauseIt didn’t preserve me prolonged to relish how all these were in the end to blame for my failing effectively being too. Having an invisible power illness methodology, you is likely to be continuously being scrutinized, judged and in general misunderstood. Added to it is that this predilection in direction of females. I usually fill spent reasonably a few sleepless nights in a row as a hyperactive suggestions is an aspect-establish of this condition. All it takes is one random belief, to render me sleepless in your total night. Some days getting up from the mattress appears to be like relish a chore. Every slide of your body screams in be anxious. Constant memory fogs instruct your actions. Any roughly interaction turns into a instruct, leave alone managing day to day routine actions. It tends to acquire extremely lonely at cases.Moreover read: PTSD: What It Is And How It Impacts Psychological HealthThe Unusual BeginningI changed into lucky to come all over Power Bother India, for the length of this part of my existence. They’re practicing spreading awareness about power illness. They shaped a closed lend a hand neighborhood on Facebook. This changed into one among their many attempts at providing lend a hand, to power be anxious illness sufferers. Power Bother India is the mind little one among Dr. Anubha Mahajan, who is a be anxious warrior herself. Amongst fellow be anxious warriors, I discovered unity here relish none assorted. As this lend a hand neighborhood reassured me that I changed into now not alone on this jog. Dr. Anubha Mahajan – Founder, Power Bother IndiaIt is in random conversations and discussions with Dr. Mahajan, that I understood Power Bother intensive. Per a glimpse 61% other folks that were coming to principal effectively being centre were coming for be anxious. She additional shared, “Ladies folk additionally tend to develop suicidal tendencies, attributable to being continuously in be anxious. Beautiful because it is invisible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!” Her words to me, were a solace. For it intended any individual available understood how I felt and what I felt. That still bond of notion changed into enough to stride thru a number of the darkest cases. Per a glimpse 61% other folks that were coming to principal effectively being centre were coming for be anxious. She additional shared, “Ladies folk additionally tend to develop suicidal tendencies, attributable to being continuously in be anxious. Beautiful because it is invisible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!”Working out Life In our society, it is excessive time that females learn to prioritize their effectively being. They must know that, “It’s far alright to esteem your effectively being and that doesn’t build you egocentric“. Regular checkups must be a component of our routine along with correct scientific guidance. Ladies folk must let slither of this social conditioning and undo the classes that are injurious for his or her effectively being. At the quit of the day, our effectively being is in our hands.Moreover read: Why Are Unmarried Ladies folk Stigmatised Whereas Having access to Sexual Health Services?Lately, taking a watch relieve I realise, how significant our upbringing matters. We’re taught to relish but by no methodology taught end when it begins to damage. We’re taught to esteem others. However are by no methodology taught, to elongate that identical relish, care and admire for ourselves. It’s time to establish away with such stereotypical mindset and redefine existence!Featured Image Offer: Tricycle-The Buddhist ReviewRead elephantine article […]

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