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rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.

9Aug

When it comes to this question, the answer for all three of my conditions seems to be “months before I actually tried to get any”. It’s pretty much the case of everyone I meet, a total reversal of hypochondriacs and straight into “everything is fine” no matter what is going on. I’m currently watching one of my best friends struggle with a condition that needs expert attention but she still seems reluctant to get help. Why is this? I’ve been looking over the reasons why I delayed getting help in the past in the hope that I can get another perspective on how she much be feeling.

Tietze Syndrome

Signs:
Intense chest pains, shortness of breath, tiredness.

Why Did I Ignore Them?:
I was fourteen years old and the only reason I have for this is flat out fear. Chest pains? Shortness of breath? Those are not symptoms you put into any search engine and (despite the fact that I didn’t check them online) I was convinced that I had a heart condition. I was too afraid to get myself checked out because I was petrified of what the diagnosis could be. It doesn’t take much maturity to see that this was the absolute worst course of action I could have taken. My pain turned out to be a (mostly) benign condition but if I had developed a heart defect I somehow doubt my delay in getting help would have done me any favours.

What Happened Once I Got Help?:
There was some confusion initially about what was going on with me, I was prescribed painkillers but not given any answers for some time. I saw a few doctors and was eventually given the correct diagnosis. There was very little information I could find (online or offline) regarding my condition and this was distressing for me. As I’ve gotten older, more has been created to inform those suffering from Tiezte syndrome (the wiki page is particularly helpful these days for a quick explanation) but I especially enjoy writing this blog for those who might be as lost as I once was.

Rosacea

Signs:
Spots and acne that were unbelievably itchy. A red flush across cheeks and forehead.

Rosacea

Why Did I Ignore Them?:
Looking back now, it’s unbelievable how long I assumed it was “just acne”. I’d always been a bit spotty as a teenager (who isn’t?) but the nature of these “spots” was different from usual blackheads and whiteheads. I used to lather myself in concealer and foundation, hoping that I could just ignore the issue and it would go away. Amazingly enough, that didn’t work.

What Happened Once I Got Help?:
Rosacea is a recurring condition and I was able to clear it up the first time with cream. When it came back I was put on a long dose of antibiotics, which has seemed to get rid of it (for now). It really was a quick fix in this case, which I delayed for a foolish amount of time.

Bipolar Disorder

Signs:
Manic energy on some days, long stints of powerful depression. Suicidal thoughts, self harming.

Why Did I Ignore Them?:
Creepy depression cycles are very cunning at hiding yourself from the problem until you realise that you’ve become a reclusive loner. We all had “bad days” and it’s frighteningly easy to string those together until you realise you’ve had a “bad six months” or more. There is also the incredible difficulty in getting help on a practical level. I was working full time and my job was the only thing keeping me going, so I really didn’t want to request time off to fit into the only slots councillors had available. (Seriously, why is it so hard to get counseling outside of working hours?).

What Happened Once I Got Help?:
Mental health issues aren’t so easy dealt with via creams and prescriptions like my other conditions. I was able to get a short course of therapy through my mother working for the NHS and that was incredibly helpful. A prescription of antidepressants also helped to level me out to a place where I could learn to read my emotion levels more effectively. I

This one is still a process, that I take a tumble with on a pretty regular basis. But getting help was absolutely the first step towards putting myself in a healthier place. With all of these conditions I let myself languish in “maybe it would get better” but really, all issues need to be faced with some kind of plan. And for a plan to work it’s somewhat helpful to have experts assisting who know better than you; as many as possible would be my recommendation.

  

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