Chronic Illness Leads to Psychological Collapse

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nategerdney
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 6/17/2015 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
This post was originally on "Depression", but this thread is really where it belongs: I have had chronic since I was born in 1985. I am almost thirty now. As a child, I was in and out of hospitals all the time, for gradual liver failure, and my parents were constantly given contradictory information on how to deal with it. When I was 12, my liver crashed completely, and I was in a near-death coma for a month during which I was transplanted. When I awoke, traumatized and shaken, I was in the hospital for another month, during which not one person came to talk to me about how I had experienced it.

A few years later I needed a kidney transplant, which was done and my trauma addressed very poorly yet again. Added to that my built-up hatred of medicine for being treated as a doctor's toy in childhood, that did not go well either. I had a few moderately good years in late high school and early college, but then I started suffering from another series of bodily pain, and more procedures. I had finally had enough, and I wanted this time to die. A few years ago, I rejected all medication in a final attempt to send a message that the psychological damage of being sick cannot be ignored.

I tried calling the suicide hotline a few times, but every time I explained where my pain and confusion came from, the person on the other end just seemed frustrated with me, and gave me the common but unhelpful answer that "I'm sure they were just doing what they thought was best to keep you alive". But being kept alive by medicine and procedures has always been exponentially more traumatic than leaving me feeling saved at all. I have come out feeling much more like molested.

Again I nearly did die, but on the last day my parents came to me and asked if I wanted to try and turn things around. I said I could try, and so I began a long, hard process of dialysis and listing for another kidney transplant. My family has now paid attention to the trauma done, and I am working closely with my Dad to recover my sanity. The doctors, however, have never learned, and they still believe that an ill person's psychological health is no issue.

They encouraged me dying, rather than seeing it as a cry for help and reform than it really was. I've tried to become more tolerant of taking medicines in preparation for one last transplant, but death keeps seeming a far better option than continuing to last out dialysis, which is re-traumatizing me every time. I'm really not sure how much longer I can keep it up. I feel on the edge of another mental breakdown every day, but I try to fight on, because if I break down now, I might never be sane again. It's very scary.

My parents and I are on our own trying to figure this out. Rather than say something like, "we're sorry you felt you had no way out. We'll try and help you, but we need some proof, a trial period to show that you can at least handle medication, at the same time", the doctors and ethicists who encouraged my suicide have fled and refused to talk to us ever again, cowering from consequences while I cannot. It's only increased my hatred of them.

To try and build a non-medical identity, I have started volunteering at a nature center, taking online classes, writing, planting, and painting. I do have a pet who is helping me every day, just by being my best friend. A black American Shorthair male cat named Blackberry. Two years ago, however, Blackberry's sister Blueberry, who I was just as close to, died of sudden seizures, and my family too quickly got another pet - a bull-terrier dog who harasses Blackberry. We had to separate the upstairs with a baby gate, and Blackberry now lives up there, so it's much harder to spend time with him each day, except for walks which he follows me on. After a year and a half, this dog has still not responded to training at all, but my Dad refuses to let us find another home for him.

Sometimes I feel completely at fault, that I did in fact push things to this point, but I also many times feel I was screaming for help and everyone just said in response "you just have to do it" (meaning take medicines, go through painful procedures, endure the humiliation of being small and weak with no stamina and in every way inferior to peers, and hospitalizations often with no psychological preparation). It's so very hard, and I want to get to a point where I can just get a little distance from all that and really start to recover.

Post Edited (nategerdney) : 6/17/2015 11:24:04 AM (GMT-6)


nategerdney
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 7/13/2015 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Is anyone on this Forum a member of the Authonomy community? I have my story in more detail at this location: https://www.authonomy.com/book/296821/
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