Welcome to the twentieth-first day of the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based on given prompts provided by WEGO Health.
Today’s post reads:
Mental Health Meld: Mental health issues can affect many other conditions. Write about mental health, emotions, and challenges as they relate to your condition. How does your mental health affect your overall well-being?
Regarding yesterday’s post about the start of the dizziness in my life, entitled “I still remember..“; it also triggered an anxiety disorder. Due to the intense dizzy spells that I experienced as a young child and becoming worse as a teenager, it resulted in me worrying about everything; worried about the when the next time the dizziness will occur. And then when it occurred in places such as a supermarket, or in a particular shop, I would worry that it would happen again and so would avoid that places, in the hopes that I would avoid an attack of the dizziness. However, this obviously did not stop the dizziness from the occurring; but only resulted in my world from becoming smaller and smaller as I avoided more and more places. In addition, as a result the dizziness that I kept mentioning to the doctor was put down to the anxiety disorder that I was diagnosed with. This is the problem with being diagnosed with a mental illness; it is widely acknowledged that mental health patients face difficulty in getting diagnosed and treated for physical illnesses as doctors will often blame their psychiatric diagnosis or the medications that they are taking on the symptoms that patients are experiencing.
In the end, I got help and treatment from the anxiety disorder, and thanks to therapy and graded exercises my world once again started to become larger as I started to visit the places, I once avoided. The relaxation techniques that I were taught, helped with the anxiety I was experiencing; although the dizziness was still very much there and still as intense. Now, I still find that anxiety is still an issue; an issue that can affect my mental and physical health,for example when the dizziness becomes so intense when out, my first instinct is still to panic and become anxious, although the anxiety I find is something that I am able to control, unlike the symptoms relating to my neurological condition, such as the dizziness, and the weakness and trembling in my legs, etc.
It is not only the anxiety, however that can be a problem for my mental and physical health however; depression is also another mental health issue that I have experience of, and can which still be a problem, years even after it first started. The depression, can still rear its ugly head, when I am experiencing bad flares in my condition. I often experience the depression, when my symptoms have been really severe for a long period of time; for example recently the dizziness has been so bad for several weeks now, and that has been making me feel down a lot of the time because of it; and because of the depression, the fatigue that I already experience becomes even worse, and that has a knock-on effect on the rest of my symptoms.
That is the thing with mental health conditions when already living with a physical health condition – it is a vicious circle and one of the health conditions become worse, it automatically affects the other. So, to survive living with a physical health condition, we also need to look after our mental health…
Do you find that the best way to live well with your chronic illness is to also look after your mental health? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments regarding this issue. Please comment below…