I realize that I am extremely late in posting my question of the week. But better late than never right?
If you have never visited our Chronic Pain site I would urge you to do so. This site is run by THE Karen Richards who has been writing for the past 15 years or so on the topic of chronic pain and she knows this topic well. Dr. Christina Lasich is also a prominent writer for the site and I have only just recently discovered her amazing talents as a writer.
I was most intrigued by a post by Dr. Lasich exploring the association between suffering and pain. She provides an interesting quote to ponder:
"Pain is not suffering; suffering is the perception of pain."
And in another more recent post Dr. Lasich describes how she does not suffer from chronic pain....she lives with it.
In asking some of my fellow writers about this it seems that many agree that they don't like the words "suffer from" linked to their condition as in "I suffer from RA" or "I suffer from chronic pain."
It was like someone twisted my head around. What a novel perspective for me!
But is this just a game of semantics? Is there a difference in saying one suffers with vs lives with a certain condition.
I have had depression for most of my life. For me....honey I can tell you....I suffer from my depression. The word fits for me. Yes I live with it. I cope with it. On good days I manage it. But when I am depressed I suffer. No amount of playing around with words will change how I feel.
I also have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Do I suffer from my MS? Sometimes I do. Yet there are always degrees of suffering. And as Dr. Lasich wisely points out....suffering has many different connotations for us all.
What about these other words we use in association with our conditions? We often use battle imagery such as..."So and so fought a valiant battle against his cancer" or "I am fighting depression." It implies there are winners and losers in this as in "She lost her battle to breast cancer."
Are we to wage war against, cope with, live with, or admit that sometimes we suffer for our condition?
My question to you for this week: Do you suffer from depression? Is "suffer" the appropriate term for you to describe how depression affects you? Or is it better to say that you have depression or live with depression?
We want to hear them!
Published On: January 22, 2012