Author Topic: Blaming yourself for an illness  (Read 801 times)

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bansidhe

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Blaming yourself for an illness
« on: October 25, 2012, 04:05:20 PM »
Perhaps I'm not the only one to do this. Perhaps I need a kick in the pants. Knowing I'm not the only one and/or getting a kick in the pants will probably help, so here's an appeal to the combined wisdom of eHellions.

I've been dealing with a chronic illness/condition for nearly 11 months now and have had loads of doctor's appointments and tests, but don't have a diagnosis yet. (At the moment, my hopes are pinned on a visit to a rheumatologist scheduled for early December.) New, puzzling symptoms have been cropping up every month or so.

Every day - no lie - I find myself wondering what I did to cause this illness. I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs. My diet is good and I work out. Still, I'm convinced that this is somehow my fault and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how it's my fault.

Has anyone else been through something like this? Did you manage to convince yourself that it wasn't your fault? If so...how?

Esan ozenki!

Arizona

cicero

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Re: Blaming yourself for an illness
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 04:19:29 PM »
hugs bansidhe

it's very frustrating to not have a diagnose. BTDT.

I was very sick about 14 years ago - i went through a few months  of tests and more tests and yet more tests until i got the diagnose. I didn't blame myself during that period - i did og thru a "blame myself" period after i found out i had cancer. I think that when we are facing very difficult times, we need to find *some* reason for what's going on. so you blame yourself.

I no longer assign blame for anything - i worked through blame and fault through therapy. things happen - i try to focus on fixing, changing, or accepting what happens and less on blame/fault.

meanwhile here's lots of hugs and hope you resolve this issue soon

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rashea

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Re: Blaming yourself for an illness
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 04:20:39 PM »
I read. That's where I go for hope and comfort. So I went and did a lot of reading in disability studies (think women's studies in college).

I was unlucky in that a minor injury led to permanently damaged nerves. There's no predicting this, it just happens sometimes for reasons doctors can't explain. I went from athletic to in a wheelchair in 4 years because I couldn't take the pain. It took a long time to first accept that I was disabled, and now to relearn and expand my limits. For a long time, I had to be really careful. Recently, I found a solution for the pain, and it's allowed me to resume a life that is almost normal. But, I've changed so much that I can't even imagine the person I would have been if this hadn't happened. I've experienced some of the best and worst of humanity as a result of being disabled. It's opened my eyes to people who are suffering, and it's made me aware of how prejudiced our society still is.

For me, the spoon theory helped a bit. It is a way to communicate to people what I have in the tank that day, and also for me to remember that yes, I can do this, but it will mean not doing something I want to later.

Stop thinking it's your fault. If you need to, I encourage you to see a therapist, not because I think your symptoms are a result of mental issues, but because when dealing with all this you'd be crazy if you didn't struggle from time to time. See if you can find someone who specializes in helping people cope with injury. You might also look into hypnosis to see if it can help with symptom control.

Finally, I'll say again that it's worth looking into symptom control. For me, a lot changed when I saw a pain management specialist. They weren't able to cure me, but they didn't try. They tried to help me feel better, even if I didn't have a diagnosis.

Feel free to PM me, I'm happy to "listen".
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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SleepyKitty

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Re: Blaming yourself for an illness
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 04:31:35 PM »
I think we blame ourselves (I say we because I think everything, from illnesses to weather, is my fault) in a search for control. When something like this happens to you (general you), it's natural to feel a little helpless and like something is being done TO you. If you blame yourself - look at what you could have possibly done to cause this - then that implies there's something you can do to stop it, too. It makes you feel like you might have control over what's happening. Like, if I did this because I have the wrong diet, all I need to do is change the diet and it will stop happening, KWIM?

The problem is, that when you blame yourself there's a negative connotation to it. So I think, in some cases, it is useful to examine yourself to see if there's something you have done that you might be able to change. But blaming yourself is an entirely different thing - it implies that you've done something wrong.

For myself, I had to learn to just accept that bad things happen to people who don't deserve it. It's not easy, and I still struggle with it, but it's the only solution I've found.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Blaming yourself for an illness
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 05:35:28 PM »
Sometimes I remind myself that life is not, in fact, fair. We get both better than we deserve (the odds are long against any individual having even been born) and worse (there are many bad things that nobody deserves.

And sometimes I do my best to remember that time only flows in one direction. Even if I knew for a fact that my medical problems were because of something I had done (and not because of something someone else did, genetics, or random cosmic rays), knowing that wouldn't fix them. At most, I can look at it and think "OK, I won't do that again." But kicking myself about it won't heal anything, it'll just strain my foot.

Then I go have a cup of tea (sometimes herbal) and pet the cat.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

bansidhe

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Re: Blaming yourself for an illness
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 06:48:14 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I think we blame ourselves (I say we because I think everything, from illnesses to weather, is my fault) in a search for control. When something like this happens to you (general you), it's natural to feel a little helpless and like something is being done TO you. If you blame yourself - look at what you could have possibly done to cause this - then that implies there's something you can do to stop it, too. It makes you feel like you might have control over what's happening.

You pegged it! That's exactly why I'm doing it. I just didn't realize it. Just knowing that helps a lot:D
Esan ozenki!

Arizona