Popular actress, writer, producer, and director, Lena Dunham, has recently revealed that she suffers from fibromyalgia.
Recently, the talented creator of the hit series, Girls, opened up about what it is like to suffer from a long-term chronic pain condition in an Instagram post, which immediately received over 50,000 likes. In this blog, we discuss why we think such a high-profile person has chosen to speak out about her health problems and how she has helped sufferers around the world by doing so. Read on to find out more.
With as many as 1-in-25 people thought to be affected by fibromyalgia, according to Arthritis UK, the decision made by Lena Dunham to speak out about her personal experience with the condition will have touched many. After having penned a heartfelt piece about her condition to her three million followers on Instagram, Lena immediately generated a huge reaction, with thousands of fellow sufferers thanking her for her searing honesty.
It began, “This is a post about chronic pain. I have it. I bet a lot of you do too. Some of us talk about it. Others are afraid to, as it could cost them their jobs or their relationships or their sense of control in a chaotic world.”
As a long-term condition, fibromyalgia is known to cause severe, widespread muscle pain all over the body, as well as fatigue, memory problems, and mood issues. The causes of the condition are still not entirely clear – something that Dunham highlighted in her recent Instagram post.
“It’s little understood and so even though I have a lot of knowledge and support, it’s hard to shake the feeling I am crazy. But I’m not (at least not this way!) and you’re not. Your pain, whatever shape it takes, is yours and so it is real.”
She reached out to fellow fibromyalgia sufferers by adding:
“I believe you when you say you hurt. I have learned time and time again how important it is to believe.”
Dunham said she was aware that chronic pain can sometimes be associated with trauma and described the onset of her own symptoms.
“It felt like every cell in my neck was singing,” she said. “My ankles and wrists were weak, and my fingers didn’t do their assigned job… I felt like I was suspended in gel, and when I meditated a line of pain zipped from my neck to my foot.
“I appear to be totally able-bodied but it’s complex, and I am just trying to do everything required to maintain a life of joy and service… This is fibromyalgia.”
Amongst the many replies to Dunham’s moving piece, there were some that stood out to us the most.
“Thank you for posting and bringing awareness to the stigma of the horrible condition many suffer but are misunderstood.”
“Thank you for sharing. I think the more open we can be about it the more people will feel they’re not alone. Pain is real, and it’s not easy dealing with it alone. There are many of us out there who can relate. Let’s support one another.”
As specialist fibromyalgia solicitors, we understand how chronic pain negatively affects its sufferers. It is refreshing to see people speaking about fibromyalgia, particularly someone with such a high profile, since it is still so misunderstood, and further awareness is needed. Unfortunately, we meet many people in the same situation as Lena Dunham, who is also suffering, and we do all that we can to help those people.
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