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Drawing on her own deeply personal experiences, Ania Bula explores what it is like to live with unseen chronic disabilities. She paints a vibrant picture of what it is like to be diagnosed with two life-long debilitating conditions as a young adult and relates the challenges and frustrations of dealing with predatory alternative medicine practitioners, arrogant doctors, indifferent bureaucracies, and well-meaning friends and family who always seem to say either the wrong thing—or nothing at all. As she discovered, suddenly everyone's aunt is a health expert and everyone's fad diet a cure. Making matters worse, her physical torment quickly translated into mental stresses. Relationships became strained, while others, including all-important romantic ones, never had a chance to start at all. Wading through a constant stream of ignorance and lies, in a desperate attempt to find peace, to stop the pain, and to return to a more normal life, she submits to being stuffed with powders and magic potions, poked and prodded, and even “faith healed.” With honesty and humor, she shares her journey of pain, suffering, and, ultimately, coping, both to help others gain some understanding about what it is like to live with chronic illness—and to help those who might similarly suffer feel less alone, so that they too might start living again.
Everyone has experienced pain at one point or another, but disorders such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis cause severe, long-term pain that can greatly limit a person's everyday activities. Because the cause of this pain is not visible, many people do not fully understand these disorders. This volume dispels the myths surrounding chronic pain to give readers a better understanding of the daily struggles people who suffer from it face. Informative sidebars and detailed infographics help young adults learn how to support a loved one who is dealing with an invisible illness or cope with their own chronic pain diagnosis.
Unlike a leg in a cast, invisible chronic illness (ICI) has no observable symptoms. Consequently, people who suffer from chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and many other miseries often endure not only the ailment but dismissive and negative reactions from others. Since its first publication, Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired has offered hope and coping strategies to thousands of people who suffer from ICI. Paul Donoghue and Mary Siegel teach their readers how to rethink how they themselves view their illness and how to communicate with loved ones and doctors in a way that meets their needs. The authors' understanding makes readers feel they have been heard for the first time. For this edition, the authors include a new introduction drawing on the experiences of the many people who have responded to the book and to their lectures and television appearances. They expand the definition of ICI to include other ailments such as depression, addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. They bring the resource material, including Web sites, up to the present, and they offer fresh insights on four topics that often emerge: guilt, how ICI affects the family, meaningfulness, and defining acceptance.

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