I have been a long-time fan of American Ninja Warrior. Every time I would see the players and hear about their backstory, I would feel inspired to workout and work around my personal issues. Not to mention, it was thrilling to see men and women astound everyone with their strength and determination to climb up a tall wall without ropes or anything to hold on to.
The thing is, one of the regular players named Elet Hall turned out to have Lyme disease. It was not something that you would expect from such a fit guy. But then he was great at explaining that anyone could have this autoimmune disorder, considering ticks could bite any person. The man was such an inspiration because that condition could put someone in so much pain. For Elet Hall to be able to do extreme workouts, therefore, was genuinely impressive.
Still, I knew that not all Lyme patients had the same attitude as that American Ninja Warrior. Many tend to get depressed post-diagnosis, especially since it’s no secret how difficult it is to live with an incurable disease. They cannot do anything other than wallow in pain or curse the heavens for giving them the disorder. Elvira Aletta, Ph.D. says that “Chronic illness means getting sick and being told it’s not going away, and that stinks. Our bodies have suddenly freaked out on us and we’ve lost control of the one thing we thought we could count on.”
In case you haven’t accepted your condition yet, here are a few hard truths that might pull you out of depression.
The World Won’t Stop Rotating Even If You Sulk Every Day
Depressed individuals tend to feel anger towards everyone, even to the ones who are trying to care for them. It’s not that they are blaming the illness to those people. It’s just that they can’t seem to control their sulky attitude.
The truth, however, is that moodiness cannot do you any good. You may push your loved ones away instead of getting their sympathy.
Depression Cannot Make The Disease Go Away
Some people tend to act as well as if they cannot do anything go through depression post-diagnosis.
Well, it is true that hearing a doctor say that you have an autoimmune disorder can be saddening. You have every right to be unhappy with the news. However, when your tears dry up, you should also realize that depression cannot cure you. If anything, it might make matters worse, so try to rein in your negative thoughts.
You Only Make Your Life Extra Difficult By Moping Around
Depression makes life extra challenging, in the sense that it aggravates every symptom you experience. You may always be in your head, too, feeling sorry for yourself and thinking of how unlucky you are. Consequently, it also makes it hard for you to appreciate the people around you. Like what Barton Goldsmith, PhD. has illustrated, “It’s very hard to think of other people when you’re wrapped in a prickly blanket of sadness, and all you can think about is your own pain. Be proactive and just a few steps you need to heal. Try reading a book to help you understand what you are going through and how best to deal with it.”
If you want to at least lessen the number of times that you deal with the symptoms, you need to stop moping around. Not tomorrow – now. That way, you can think of ways to distract yourself when you’re in pain and, more importantly, live happily despite the disease.
Getting diagnosed with Lyme disease is not the end of the world. The diagnosis may shock and sadden you at first, but you should not allow it to depress you. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in that sorry state forever. In any case, always remember these words by Allison Abrams, LCSW: “Depression has absolutely nothing to do with strength or character, any more than cancer or any other disease does. It is brought on by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors that goes beyond mood.”