Alison Cameron, from Dorset, was 17 when she had appendicitis and went into hospital.
“I had my appendix out and I remember I came round out of the anaesthetic screaming, the pain was something else.”
It was the start of a “horrendous” three years of investigation before “they came to the conclusion through a process of elimination, it was nerve damage”.
Over the next 30 years, Alison had more than 50 injections, known as cryoblocks, to freeze the site of her abdominal pain, but none of them stopped the pain for more than six months.
So how can books re-balance the self? Well, above all, as the panel agreed, they provide a form of escapism that is more intense than in any other artform. “With a film or TV show, you’re given the visuals whereas with a novel you’re inventing them yourself, so it’s actually much more of a powerful event, because you’re involved,” as Berthaud noted. Wheatle offered a powerful example of the transportative effect of fiction when he recalled discovering Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn while living in a children’s home in South London. “It was quite brutal, and so [the book] was a place where I could escape my everyday turmoil. At least, come 9 or 9.30pm, I could hide under the covers with my little torch and go through those pages, and imagine I was floating down the Mississippi River, coming across steamboats and making my own decisions about where I was going to eat and rest.”
Depression and anxiety each have their own sets of symptoms and challenges. And as if living with one of the conditions isn’t frustrating enough, research also shows that it’s not unusual to experience the two of them simultaneously.
HuffPost reached out to people living with both depression and anxiety ― as well as experts who treat the conditions ― to explain how it really feels to live with them on a daily basis. Take a look at them below. (Then share it with others who could possibly benefit from gaining a better, more compassionate understanding of the experience, too.)
“Until a few years ago, society did not give this issue any attention,” said Dr Kyriakos Katsadoros, the founder of Klimaka, Greece’s only suicide prevention clinic. “The crisis has brought problems that were being ignored to the forefront.”
Conservative attitudes are changing as a result. In 2009, 63.1% of Greeks agreed with the statement that depression is a sign of personal weakness. By 2014, that number had dropped to 36%. Continue reading
For most people dementia progresses slowly, meaning they live with it for many years.
There is no cure, though doctors can try to prevent further damage and slow the progress of the disease in patients with some types of dementia, vascular dementia for example. In other cases, treatments focus on alleviating symptoms and helping patients to live well with the illness.
That’s where music comes in. There is growing evidence that music can play a part in helping people with dementia live happy and fulfilled lives after they are diagnosed.
Working with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, like Down syndrome or autism, can be complex and challenging even for those with years of training. But one group — law enforcement — often encounters people with these conditions in high-stress situations, with little or no training at all.
Patti Saylor knows all too well what the consequences of that can be.
Her son Ethan, who had Down syndrome, died after an encounter with law enforcement when he was 26. It’s a tragedy she believes could have been prevented.
“It’s Jeremy Richman who understood the brain and how it tries to trick you into violence, and he couldn’t find a way to deal with the issues with which he struggled,” Murphy said. “It speaks to how difficult it is for everyone else who’s going through trauma.”
In an interview with ABC Radio
Richman spoke about his daily struggles,. He said the time since his daughter’s death was an “infinite heartache.” But there was hope in helping. When asked what everyone else could do to help, Richman said, “having discussions about brain health, talking about your feelings and your motivations for doing things and recognizing that the brain is just another organ. … That’s really important. It’s not a character flaw if you feel depressed.”
For the first time, a national health panel has recommended a way to prevent depression during and after pregnancy. This condition, known as perinatal depression, affects up to one in seven women and is considered the most common complication of pregnancy. The panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, said two types of counseling can help keep symptoms at bay. Its recommendation means that under the Affordable Care Act, such counseling must be covered by insurance with no co-payment.