I have two kinds of FND, one being particularly difficult to control, I also have 6 pretty serious conditions, two of which run side by side with one of my FND diagnoses, I have no warning when it’s coming and it can happen at any time. I have had a very difficult childhood and through to my teen years, Into adult hood, I have received three different kinds of mental health therapy, ranging from group, one to one and art therapy, for all together five years, in that time I also had a mental health breakdown where I was admitted into a mental health ward for six weeks, With the help and support of my family I came out the other side, I heard all the old stuff about how weak I was mentally, and that I needed to man up, believe me I’ve heard it all, and experienced most things when it comes to mental health, their are no answers to it, even after extensive therapy I still struggle with that side of things, having frequent nightmares to this day.
An unexplained illness puts a great strain on you mentally and learning to control or stay on top of it is extremely difficult, something a lot of people can’t get on top off, my therapist said that somethings are just better left alone, as they run to deep, it was actually good to hear that even though it sounds defeatists, it actually isn’t their simply comes a point when you reach the end and the realisation that no amount of therapy is going to work. The next and probably most important step is accepting this, and trying to move on, now I no this is probably the hardest thing you will ever do, but no matter what we think our mental health has a major impact on our physical well being, I no from personal experience how much that can be and how quickly things can spiral out of control, one of my FND diagnoses makes me pass out mimicking my POTS and Vasal Vagal Syncope making things far worse for me.
The question is how do I control this, to this day I still haven’t managed to, but being stressed, worried etc definitely makes things worse, the trouble is the more I pass out the worst the stress gets, the more I pass out, a viscous circle. Part of trying to control that is trying to stay positive, ( I no what your thinking ) how do I do that? Well partly keeping yourself active, not just physically but mentally to, walking just getting out in the fresh air can help, get out and meet people, have intelligent conversation with people, even if you can’t get out have people round it will help you with both your physical and mental well being.
I am certainly not saying it’s a cure but it certainly can help you to get through everyday, try and do something positive once a day it really will make you feel better about yourself, and that is crucial to how you feel about yourself, set yourself a daily target, but don’t stress if you don’t achieve it, little targets are better than nothing.
Since we started FND Freinds my mental health has improved no end, I’m a lot more confident and determined theses days, has it cured me? No absolutely not, I pass out just as much, in fact even more so, but I don’t let it get me down as much as I used to, keeping myself occupied with FND Freinds, helping other sufferers has spurned me on, and I’m determined to make a success of it, firstly turning us into a charity and raising enough money to help others, setting up other groups through out the South West, raising our profile both medically and with FND sufferers and their families, this has been my focus for the last 18 months, were not going to go away we will build and help as many people as we can.
I’m just an ordinary guy who has had to struggle all through my life, nothing has come easy, but I’m not a quitter, I will fight on no matter how many times I get knocked down. I’m not preaching I just really want to help as many of you as I can, I’m letting you know how hard things have been for me as well as you, your not on your own, unfortunately there are so many of us, and currently their is no help from the NHS, so we have to fight for each other and ourselves, don’t give into it or some of the less medical people who doubt out disabilities, it’s not in your head it’s real!!
When any of you are feeling down, isolated or that no one cares, well we do, let us no, we can come out and visit you, and try to cheer you up. I’m fully aware that some of you struggle physically to do anything, it’s really important to fight on the best you can, we will help where we can, we are not medical people, but we do have a very good understanding of FND and everything that comes with that.
Will be really good to see lots of you at our Christmas function on the 8th December, please come, you won’t be disappointed..
Remember your mental health is equally as important as your physical health..
Take care all..