Don't Judge the Way I Choose to Cope

The circumstances of your physical health can affect your mental health considerably— especially if you’re not receiving the correct treatment to properly cope. In fact, it has been proven that there is a very present correlation between stress and physical health, which could really take a toll of your life completely if you are suffering from any sort of health condition. 

But no one really talks about the pressures society puts on individuals to cope with their health issues a certain way. Nowadays with social media, it’s become incredibly easy to log on to the internet and judge the way another person is living their life— and if stress can make conditions worse, why do we continue to do so? 

From judging the coping mechanisms of young mothers with postpartum depression, to publicly shaming cancer patients for their use of medical marijuana, the internet always has to have an opinion on things that are none of our damn business. 

Emma, a 24 year old student from Toronto, has unfortunately experienced this judgement first hand. 

“(When) I was 17 I had a laparoscopic surgery to be diagnosed (with endometriosis). The doctor was super shocked that I had it ‘so young’.”

“I used to miss a lot of school (elementary and high school) because my periods were so bad. I used to throw up every time I had my period, I couldn't move without leaking when I was really young, and I was always in so much pain.”

Endometriosis is disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, grows outside your uterus. It can cause severely painful periods, persistent pelvic pain, infertility and other mild to severe symptoms. 

“Certain Endometriosis treatments that are supposed to help - specifically, for me, an IUD - totally ruined my mental health. I almost killed myself on my IUD it fucked with me (so) badly.”

Sadly, Emma is not the only one that had such a negative experience to the treatment option. Many women have had a horrible experience with IUDs and have opted to discard the recourse all together. 

Alternative options include painkillers, hormone treatments and surgery -- but of course, the option of surgery comes with a price, and it's not just the medical bill

“I have been asking for a hysterectomy for years now and (my Doctor) won't do it because he is certain I'll change my mind on having kids. I've been saying for years that I am okay with not having children, that I'd rather have a hysterectomy, but everyone just keeps saying that I'm too young and I'll change my mind.”

As mentioned, Emma is a 24 year old woman who has remained certain about her decision on having children in the future, yet she has spent her whole adult life trying to convince friends, family members, and healthcare professionals that this personal resolution is valid. 

"I’ve been refused a hysterectomy by three doctors. I have always said that if I change my mind I would be fine with adopting.” 

“For me it's worst when people don't take me seriously when I say I don't want kids, or when they don't believe me when I say I know what is (or isn't) in store for me in regards to motherhood and kids. It's really upsetting to not be taken seriously.” 

We see so much of this type of judgment in the media today — especially when it comes to women and babies. In fact, just last year, model Chrissy Teigen was put under public scrutiny for the way she was holding her 6 month old daughter. 

“I will never know why parents criticize others so harshly, knowing they’d go insane if they were on the receiving end ALLTHETIME,” she tweeted.

Comedian Ali Wong even touched upon this subject in her 2016 comedy special, Baby Cobra — a show in which she performed seven months pregnant. Making mention of the “crazy double standard” between the roles of parents, playfully stating, “It takes so little to be considered a great dad, and it also takes so little to be considered a shitty mom.” 

“People praise my husband for coming to all of my doctor’s appointments with me…Guess who else has to go to those doctor’s appointments? Me! I’m the star of the show. There’s nothing for the camera to see if I’m not there, but he’s the hero for playing Candy Crush while I get my blood drawn.”

Emma also made note of the present double-standard between men and women when it comes to their own fertility, “Men can get vasectomies no problem and nobody asks them if they're sure or tell them that they might regret it.” 

Unfortunately, she continues to suffer from the side effects of endometriosis and is still awaiting her time to go through with the procedure. 

It seems as though with social media, the judgemental days are far from being over. But, before you decide to log on and judge someone else for the way they cope with their condition— reminder yourself that you have no idea what they might be going through. 

Lia, Xo