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People With Illnesses Talk About The Symptom They Shouldn't Have Ignored

Wednesday 6 December 2017


From US news outlet VICE:


Man sneezing
A stock photo of a guy sneezing.
(Photo: Andriy Popov / Alamy Stock Photo)

People with Illnesses Talk About the Symptom They Shouldn't Have Ignored

If you think you might be sick, here's an idea: Ask a doctor what they think.

By Ruth Faj
December 5, 2017

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Ignore it, and it'll go away—the approach many of us take to medical symptoms, nascent ailments, and the strange dotty rashes we find all over our extremities. It's fairly obvious that this is not the best approach to take. If you think something's wrong, get it checked out—it could be the difference between a speedy recovery and something much worse. Of course, this is one of the reasons lots of us choose to do nothing: Denial is easier than acceptance.

"To have to endure the symptoms [while also not knowing what illness] they may have definitely can come under 'ignorance is bliss,'" explains Dr. Julie Scheiner, a psychologist who specializes in behavioral therapy. "People are frightened of the things they don't understand, so ignoring symptoms may be easier to deal with than potentially having to grieve for something that may be worse to come. It’s a defense mechanism."

I spoke to four people who did exactly that, before being diagnosed with serious illnesses.


Max Tuck, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Epstein Barr Virus

Why, oh why, did I ignore my grinding exhaustion? I used to ask myself often. That’s what you do when you get diagnosed with an illness that alters life as you know it. For me, it was because I was busy—busy running the rat race. There wasn’t time to be tired. So I kept going, even though my body was saying otherwise.


Full article…



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