March is Endometriosis Awareness Month… An illness that affects over 100 million that still takes years and years of frustrations to get diagnosed and still no cure has been made.
Let’s talk about when diagnosed. When you actually find a doctor who listens to you and takes time to find what you are suffering from, it takes YEARS…. Those years before diagnosis where women go through this journey feeling lost, watching friends and family desert them, being dismissed and made to believe ‘it’s all in your head’ and still expected to pretend or ‘tuck in’ their pain so as not to make others feel uncomfortable.
This takes a HUGE toll on women mentally and emotionally and as much as you finally get a diagnosis, which is a huge relief, that emotional toil never goes away. Diagnosis doesn’t make a chronic illness be less chronic, neither does the pain, lethargy and all other symptoms go away.
So when the gynaecologists pre or post laparoscopy start recommending diets, crazy hormonal pills and injections…
- How come they never recommend psychologists or counselling support groups to deal with the journey?
- How come when you get recommended a psychologist is because they believe it’s all in your head?
- How come doctors don’t talk about the stress, frustration, depression that comes with a chronic illness?
- When are we supposed to see past the physical symptoms and acknowledge the take it has on our mental health?
- Who checks on our mental health when we go through this medication that may or may not work and through the side effects it puts us through
Endometriosis just like any invisible and chronic illness affects our mental health more that it is said. It affects from years of being dismissed, years of chronic pain, realization of the fact your disease has no cure, realization of the fact that you are no longer the woman you are and have to take a step back, your sex life is affected, pretending not to be in pain for the convenience of others, waking up to the fact that you have to fight another day, for some the fact that infertility is real and they have to try emotionally and financially exhaustively to try and conceive, to deal when your life partners, friends, family don’t stand with you in the journey and leave you, to feel less that you know you can be.
We need to talk about our mental health. We need to feel safe to talk about the strain it takes on us. We need the emotional and mental support from those around us, therapists without being dismissed.
It is more than just chronic pain.