My Red Letter

To The United States:

There are diseases out there that start with the mind, decaying and rotting the parts of the brain that allow the body to emotionally function. Just because people can’t physically see the disease doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect the way a person is able to live their lives.

I am one of those people. Mental illness is just as damaging as physical disablement, and we deserve the help that they receive from the government just as much, if not more.

This is my Red Letter.

Pass the Parity Act.

My mother and I have Huntingtons Disease, which disables the mind long before the physical illness takes hold. It’s hard having parts of the brain that enable happiness, stability, and rationality slowly fade away, and it affects everything we do, including the ability to hold a steady job and bring in a sufficient income to support ourselves and our family.

So you have the caretaker, often a spouse or another member of the family who has to look after the person who is ill (which is a full-time job, believe me), and you have the person who is mentally ill in the early stages and unable to configure rationality.

How are they supposed to financially support themselves? The time, medication, and care that it takes to keep the sick loved one functional is a full-time job in itself.

I have seen family members and loved ones who are plagued with HD and look perfectly normal on the outside, (and they will be normal sometimes), start talking to themselves and burst into an outrage, insisting that their family members are plotting to kill them.

To them, things stop making sense. I am 23 years old and recently tested positive for HD, and I decided to get tested because I thought I was going crazy. I convinced myself that I was being watched at all times, and that everyone was watching my every move. I used to stand in my bathroom and stare into the mirror, saying “I know you’re watching me.”

It was crazy! And I knew it was. My mother, though only subtlety sick on the outside, has so much trouble remembering things, and I fear that I will have to watch her degrade more and more every day, and we won’t have the financial abilities to give her the medications she needs to come back to reality.

Imagine trying to work while attempting to hold back your anxiety attacks, or being held down by depression and paranoia. It’s nearly impossible.

Roughly 1 in 5 people with HD commit suicide, or at least consider it. I believe that if they were able to receive the resources they needed, then these numbers could have been prevented.

It’s a scientific fact. Look here: http://brainblogger.com/2009/01/16/psychiatric-illness-in-huntingtons-disease/

YOU can help. You can make a difference. We are all family, and we need the Parity Act to be passed so that we can at least have the ease from financial strain.

Sign the Parity Act here: https://www.causes.com/posts/972268?auto_prompt_sharing=1

 

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