I found an article about CRSD and how it affects people emotionally and socially. Although it’s hard to hear it called “the suicide disease” I understand why because I’m sitting in that very spot as we speak.

Excerpts from : What It’s Like Living With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, the ‘Suicide Disease’

“Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is one of the most painful disorders known to man. On the McGill University Pain Scale, CRPS/RSD ranks 42 out of 50. To put this level of pain in perspective for you, that ranks higher than both childbirth and amputation.”

CRSD can disfigure youThere are times when it would feel better if the limb that’s in pain and on fire was amputated. I just want the paint to stop. It takes over my head and I start to get desperate and once I’m desperate then I’m irrational and willing to take risks. This is one of the reasons people with Chronic Illness have to be concerned with addiction. We want the pain to stop. There are times when a patient may give their pain meds a boost because they can’t stand the pain anymore. This boost comes in several forms, either adding alcohol to the meds or taking more than prescribed. Although I understand why it happens, I also understand that it’s a dangerous road to travel.

“The emotional effects of CRPS/RSD often have a profound effect too. Living in constant, excruciating pain, losing the ability to work or go to school, mobility and dexterity challenges, strained social and romantic relationships, financial obstacles, and lack of understanding and support from family and friends can all contribute to the development of anxiety or depression. Many become overwhelmed, discouraged, and feel hopeless. Dubbed the “suicide disease,” some patients desperate to halt their continuous pain, end their life. It’s one of the many tragic aspects that accompanies CRPS/RSD.”

I am going to struggle with the aftermath of violent spasms and living on fire. My baseline pain RSD skin destructionis a level 8 out of 10. It’s not easy but I can do a level 8 but it’s so hard to rebound from what I just went through for nearly 3 months. The level of risk for suicide for me is higher now than during the flare up. Flashbacks of what my body was doing, flashbacks of me screaming as if I was giving childbirth because of the spasms, fearing the next flare up, that’s what’s behind the suicidal thoughts. I can’t do it again, I think. My only out is to kill myself, I think.

CRSD doesn’t just take your pride, it destroys your body. The skin changes are no joke. My legs really do look like this.

I see my body lay on the bed destroyed and defeated with nothing left to give, but I know the disease will later ask for more. Every laid still like that, lifeless almost, no strength, no light, just flesh and bones on a bed. That is what makes me suicidal, to think of myself in such an undignified manner, defeated, ravaged, broken.

*Even outside of therapy I have a support system to help me through this time. If I am unable to manage I will go inpatient. I will continue to discuss this subject, sometimes in detail but please know that I do have an excellent care team. If one isn’t able to help, there are others. I’m fully covered. I know talking about suicide is scary for people but not talking about it is worse.


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5 thoughts on “the ‘Suicide Disease’

    1. The day I was told I have it I was told the stats for suicide. I wish he’d held off on that part. It was a lot to take in during one medical appointment. It most certainly felt like a long, drawn out death sentence.

      The difficulty with Lupus is that nothing heals correctly and it opens you up to stuff like this. Lupus is the invisible illness that causes so much disruption – physically, emotionally, socially destructive.

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