Domestic Abuse survivors at ‘higher risk of fibromyalgia and chronic fatique.
So, firstly, please allow me to apologise for not being in touch for a while longer than usual. I am ok! I have just been incredibly busy at my day job at the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV). It is always busy at this time of year. The 25th November is the first day of the 16 days of activism against gendered violence. The 25 November, being the first day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the last day which is the 10 December, being Human Rights Day. Every domestic abuse organisation in the UK always tries to do something to mark this period of time and NCDV are no different. But for me, this time, this year, marks a year on the 1st December, since I was diagnosed with stage 3, grade 3a, endometrial cancer and I really wasn’t sure I was still going to be around to work on projects and joint events at this time of year anymore! So I feel incredibly lucky to be able to throw myself into my work and have done!
Having said all the above, I really wanted to share this article with you that I saw a couple of weeks ago and saved, so that I could share it with you all. I won’t duplicate the article. I shall just put the link here and then add a couple of observations, if that is ok?
My first reactions was – “what the hell”? I know 4 women I have worked with in the past that I now know to have Fibromyalgia. There are probably more. I am sure the same applies to male victims of domestic abuse (why would it be any different).
Although I have not got Fibromyalgia, I do have Crohn’s Disease and have sometimes wondered if this was caused by the trauma of going through domestic abuse and violence, particularly as there is no history of Crohn’s in my family.
Now, I know that neither Fibromyalgia nor Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are considered to be auto immune illnesses, as Crohn’s is, but they do share many symptoms with each other such as tiredness, inflammation and nerve damage.
My point is, it would seem likely that domestic abuse is the ‘gift that just keeps on giving’!!! Chronic illnesses, years after the abuse, mental health issues, substance misuse to cope with the aforementioned! We also know that brain injury, which is a hidden disability impacts a large number of domestic abuse survivors. Have a look at this….
I was involved in this research. I found the experience both incredibly shocking but also massively empowering. Because despite all of these obstacles – long term chronic illnesses, mental health, substance misuse, brain injury – we keep going!! We get up every day and go to work, look after the kids, clean the house, do the shopping. How strong are we??
Yet, the other part of me thinks – what’s next???!!