Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson is a full-time mom, she got her 15 minutes of fame in a horrific way. No one should be exploited the way she was. This is why I am so adamant about helping others, so situations like her’s do not arise.
Please read her story. It will touch all that have an invisible illness.
Degenerative disc disease – Degenerative disc disease is a condition that is commonly misunderstood. A degenerated disc is not actually a disease—it is part of the normal aging of the spine. When a spinal disc degenerates, it loses its ability to function efficiently as part of the spinal joint, which in turn can lead to back pain and possibly pain that radiates through the extremities.
Spondylolisthesis– Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a defect in a part of the spine causes vertebra to slip to one side of the body. Typical symptoms of spondylolisthesis include back pain and/or leg pain.
Major depressive disorder – In typical depressive episodes, the person experiences depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity for at least 2 weeks. Many people with depression also suffer from anxiety symptoms and medically unexplained somatic symptoms.
A person with moderate or severe major depressive disorder has difficulties carrying out his or her usual work, school, domestic or social activities due to symptoms of depression.
When facing adversity, many people develop depressive symptoms, but lack impairment in their usual activities – hence would not be diagnosed as having major depressive disorder. The diagnosis of major depressive disorder requires that the person not only has depressive symptoms, but also has difficulties in day-to-day functioning due to these symptoms.
PTSD – Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events. Research has recently shown that PTSD among military personnel may be a physical brain injury, specifically of damaged tissue, caused by blasts during combat.
Avoidant personality disorder – People with avoidant personality disorder experience long-standing feelings of inadequacy and are extremely sensitive to what others think about them. These feelings of inadequacy leads to the person to be socially inhibited and feel socially inept. Because of these feelings of inadequacy and inhibition, the person with avoidant personality disorder will seek to avoid work, school and any activities that involve socializing or interacting with others.
This blog article is dedicated to and about Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson in hopes of reaching kind-hearted people who could have helped her instead of stood back and taken pictures. I have not met her, but I have compassion and would have run to her rescue or had my husband help her if I was unable. At the very least, stood near her and consoled her until help could arrive.
We with invisible illnesses need each others support. Stand as tall as you can, but be proud no matter how bad things get. And always, ALWAYS lend a helping hand when you can.