Suffering from pectus excavatum can be isolating
Others around you probably don’t have it and they don’t get what it’s like. Sometimes even nurses and therapists have never heard of pectus excavatum.
Luckily, pectus excavatum is generally hidden beneath clothing, invisible. That is the main reason why the general public is not really aware of it at all. The people in your life might not even know that you have pectus excavatum.
Even if they do, they won’t completely understand what it is.
So most of the times it falls on you to teach the people in your life about what it means to have pectus excavatum, which kinda sucks if you don’t enjoy talking about it.
Among the individuals that have pectus excavatum, each person will experience it in a different way. Most of the people are very troubled by it and develop depression or anxiety, or stay away from dating. Other people couldn’t care less. Some get teased or bullied for it, some don’t.
Truth to be told
There are many factors that impact one’s perception of pectus excavatum. How deep is it? Is it symmetrical? Is your breathing shallow? Is pectus excavatum surgery the only way to get it fixed?
Gender is another significant experience-shifter. The chest wall is an extremely sexualized area for both the men and women, but in different way. Transgender people will certainly relate to their bodies differently than cis-gendered folks.
Age is another one, physically and mentally. Are your bones still pliable enough for treatment? Have you become more self-confident as you’ve grown up?
Even social class comes into play. Is getting a pectus excavatum surgery affordable? What about psychological treatments? Is your mental power taken up by other stresses like fulfilling basic needs? Do you have what’s required (languages, insurance, education, internet/computer access, etc.) to access resources?
It is human nature to want to connect with comparable others; there are lots of places on the internet where individuals suffering with pectus excavatum go to chat. Also scrolling through these supportive communities can sometimes be motivating (emphasis on the sometimes – usually connecting with other people who have pectus excavatum is a really strengthening experience, and de-isolating). A person who can’t pay for a pectus excavatum surgery or who is too old for it, or whatever reason, might feel low and depressed after seeing how satisfied others feel post-op. Someone looking to feel more positive may not want to see how others have struggled psychologically for years. And so on.
Anyways, if you have pectus excavatum, odds are that you feel different and unique from other people – even the others who have pectus excavatum too.
Discovering what will work for you to reduce your personal feeling of isolation is important. It could mean improving the relationships in your life in general, with family, friends or significant others. It could also mean taking the time to pick someone else who has a similar relationship to their pectus excavatum condition. Or even speaking to a therapist. And this probably goes without saying, but if any person ever makes you feel really bad about having pectus excavatum, stay away from them. Often isolation is a great thing.
Beside showing you how to fix your pectus excavatum without a surgery, I created this website to help you get rid of the anxiety caused by this condition. Feel free to get all your pectus excavatum related concerns off your chest in the comments section.
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