Dr. Elvira Aletta is a clinical psychologist with a unique perspective on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. In her early twenties, she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease that usually affects young boys. Then in her thirties, she came down with a chronic autoimmune condition called scleroderma.
She’d never heard of that, either. She describes her experience like this:
“Chronic illness means getting sick and being told it is not going away, and that stinks. Our bodies have suddenly freaked out on us, and we’ve lost control of the one thing we thought we could count on.”
These sentiments might also seem familiar to those of us living with cardiovascular disease. And that can feel downright depressing. See also: When are cardiologists going to start talking about depression?