Autoimmune disease and mental illness.

Photo 22-7-17, 6 50 59 am

I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for about 2 years now, which most of my friends know. However what most do not know is that 1 year ago, I was also diagnosed with disordered eating // an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) that was a result of my depression. On top of all that, as of 5 months ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of my thyroid called Graves Disease. I’m still new to my overactive thyroid, however I’ve had the symptoms for a few months now. It’s tough dealing with both a physical illness and a mental illness, and honestly it overwhelmed me at the beginning. I’m writing this post to share about the pros and cons I’ve seen of having an autoimmune disease while dealing with mental illnesses.

Disclaimer. I’m well aware that each individual will be different so this is from my own experience.

Cons

  • I’m always tired and don’t want to do anything.
  • Doing normal activities is a struggle.
  • I have heart palpitations and my hands is always mostly trembling.
  • Interrupted sleep and having trouble sleeping.

These symptoms can be said for both my autoimmune disease and my mental illness. As such, I struggle to differentiate between them and I can’t tell how and why I’m feeling is result of my mental health or my physical health.

Pros

  • As a result of an overactive thyroid, my appetite has increased which resulted in my eating a lot more than I usually was used to. This help me fight my disordered eating of food portion, when to eat, what to eat, as if I didn’t eat, I felt dizzy and nausea.
  • Learnt to take things slow, and not be so hard on myself. Because I have to rest a lot to help my heart rate to decrease, this has taught me to practise more self-care.
  • Another symptom of an overactive thyroid is shortness of breath. As such, this has helped me to focus on my breathing, which I think has helped in less anxiety and panic attacks.
  • My thoughts have been less destructive as I just don’t have the energy or time to focus on them and mostly because my thoughts are about Graves disease.

As you can see there are benefits but also inconveniences. I still can’t decide on whether my Graves disease has hindered my recovery or aid it, but all I know is that this is my reality right now, and I’m choosing to be positive about it and being very aware of the symptoms.

So if you’re in a similar position, I hope this has encouraged you a little to try to find the positives and not let the situation overwhelm you. You’ve got this & you’re a fighter.

Lots of love, Jasmine xx

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