Suicide awareness has been a HUGE issue in the POTS community lately.
Unfortunately, when you live with a chronic illness, your body suffers, but so does your mind.
Chronic illness effects every part of who you are.
POTS specifically, as an invisible illness, can be very damaging on a person's mental state. Its hard having to alter your entire life and give up things you used to be passionate about due to your health.
POTS doesn't just go away. There's no definitive medicine that can just take away the symptoms.
So many of us live with daily:
LOW BLOOD PRESSURE
These symptoms aren't easy to deal with. Especially when they're happening EVERY DAY!!!
Some days, the symptoms may be worse than others. Some days, we may be very symptomatic. We may not be able to be as active as we used to be and even getting through a "lazy day" may be extremely difficult for us. Sometimes we can't concentrate.
We start to feel like LIFE IS PASSING US BY.
Other days, we may feel okay or almost "normal". We may have days where we aren't very symptomatic and can have a fairly active day without feeling too sick). This offers a wonderful "break" from our realities. But these days are cruel and bittersweet because they never last. We never know how long we have until we become symptomatic. And a taste of normal life can sometimes leave us feeling worse when our reality comes crashing back.
Another problem is that when we have good days, some people assume we're faking the bad days. They don't understand how fast our symptoms can come and go.
Because of this FAMILY AND FRIENDS MAY NOT PROVIDE A HEALTHY SUPPORT SYSTEM.
All of this together is extremely difficult to deal with. POTS is isolating. While there are AMAZING support groups online (particularly on Facebook), this illness never gets easier. Sometimes, it devours us. Sometimes we become our illness.
This is how depression begins.
The idea of facing an entire lifetime of pain is TERRIFYING.
And it's okay to be scared. POTS is scary. We are trapped in bodies that refuse to be bodies. It's hard to deal with even with a good support system. It is so important that those suffering with chronic illness get help dealing with the difficulties that come along with chronic illness.
Counseling is not the fix-all answer. But it can make a HUGE difference.