May 5, 2021

acage

Outstanding health & fitness

After misdiagnosis and relentless symptoms, I’ve felt the toll of RLS on my mental health. We need better care. – PublicSource

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them.

Editor’s note, trigger warning: The essay discusses suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal ideation, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), or message the Crisis Text Line at 741741. The programs provide free, confidential support 24/7. The author’s full name is being withheld to protect his privacy.

“When I was younger, I was afraid to walk down the basement steps, for fear that I would fall between the empty spaces. And lately, I have been scared that there is nothing but empty space between where my life has been and where I want it to be.”

I first wrote those lyrics in the summer of 2017. My anxiety disorder was wreaking havoc on my life, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a life where my symptoms did not disrupt my existing relationships, work and education.

But I had no idea just how much those words would come to define virtually every aspect of my existence that following year, not by way of my anxiety disorder but through the onset of a functional neurological disorder.