#4: Remember that everyone has a story
A chilling, yet beautiful story out of the University of Pennsylvania illustrates the seriousness of mental wellness in young adults. Madison Holleran was an aspiring athlete and all-around beloved college student who committed suicide in 2014. She was only 19 years old.
Madison’s story is particularly relevant to the discussion of going back to school with chronic pain. It explores the juxtaposition between life on social media and what’s really happening. She projected a life through her Instagram that “was filled with shots that seemed to confirm everyone’s expectations: Of course she was loving her first year of college.”
The truth is that Meghan was overwhelmed at school and was suffering from depression. She had seen a therapist. Her family tried to help. Her friends tried to help. She had a dedicated support system. She was talented, beautiful, smart and loved by everyone who knew her. She was not in physical pain, but her emotional pain was unbearable. And she ended her young life as a result.
Her story could be the story of the student sitting next to you in your next class. Or it could be the story of your locker mate or your best friend from middle school. As school starts this year, remember that you are not alone in your chronic pain and that others are seeking support as well. You may find like Tabitha McDuffee that a way to help manage your pain is to help others. You may also find it’s much easier to face your chronic health conditions and school work when you let others know how to best support you.
What are your best tips for others who are going back to school with chronic pain?
Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
What topics related to managing chronic pain in day-to-day like would you like to see us explore?
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