Patients of rare, chronic illnesses, such as Ménière’s Disease, often suffer from severe bouts of depression, anxiety, and stress, which can worsen their symptoms.
NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Patients of rare, chronic illnesses, such as Ménière’s Disease, often suffer from severe bouts of depression, anxiety, and stress, which can worsen their symptoms. For Mental Health Awareness Month, 2nd Chapter Productions – the producers of the documentary film Unheard: The Ears of Ménière’s – is giving voice to these Ménière’s warriors with tips on how others can better support them.
Ménière’s disease is an invisible vestibular disorder that causes episodes of violent vertigo, fluctuating and permanent hearing loss, excruciating and consistent tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and painful ear pressure, along with other debilitating symptoms that drive patients into isolation. Ménière’s is not well known or understood, preventing sufferers from receiving the much needed compassion and empathy for their circumstances.
The Meniere’s Society reported that “1 in 8 people with Ménière’s were found to meet criteria for full Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Similarly, levels of health anxiety and depression were found to be much higher in Ménière’s sufferers.” A Cambridge University study concluded that “the prevalence of depression in patients with Ménière’s disease is nearly 50 percent.”
Through its work within the Ménière’s and vestibular communities, the production has collected feedback from patients about how family, friends, and doctors can help support their mental wellness. Tips include:
Keep in Touch: check in through a phone call or video chat to see how they are doing. Personal connection is so important for our well being, especially if we live alone.
Listen: sometimes we simply need to be heard, believed, and allowed to vent without someone trying to “fix” us. Someone to just sit with us and really listen.
Be Mindful: most of our symptoms are invisible, so be aware that we are always pushing back anxiety and fear about having an attack, stressing how to keep our job, and so much more that you will never see.
Learn: the greatest gift we can receive is for others to learn about our disease. When someone shows genuine interest in our symptoms and diagnosis, it shows that we matter and are loved.
Be Patient: we may not want to talk, but it helps to acknowledge our feelings and remind us of past things we have overcome.
Don’t Compare: please don’t tell me about that one time you ‘had what I have.’ It minimizes our experiences and stops us from sharing more. Unless you have Ménière’s, it’s not the same.
Be Our Partner: upon diagnosis, many of us weren’t given much information about what to expect or how to help ourselves, leaving us alone to search desperately on the internet for answers. Having a physician, who we can trust, and is an active partner in managing our chronic illness, helps lessen our anxiety and depression.
Ménière’s Disease silently robs millions of their hearing and balance, along with their ability to maintain their social and professional lives. You can’t see it, and they can’t explain it. Unheard: The Ears of Ménière’s documentary is on a mission to raise awareness for this mysterious condition and help attract research funding to find better treatments and a cure.
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About 2nd Chapter Productions
2nd Chapter Productions is an independent production company owned and operated by Janine McGoldrick, a veteran entertainment executive and strategist who has developed tactical promotional campaigns for film, television, and home entertainment at various companies, including HBO, Universal, and Cohen Media Group.
The company is currently in production on its first feature documentary film, Unheard: The Ears of Ménière’s which brings this mysterious syndrome into the public eye by piecing together the complicated puzzle of what is keeping people in the dark in matters of their own health. With creative and precise camera-work, it pulls the audience inside the victims’ heads, simulating symptoms of the disease so viewers directly experience how it physically debilitates them.
Unheard: The Ears of Meniere’s is a 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Unheard: The Ears of Ménière’s must be made to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Janine McGoldrick, 2nd Chapter Productions
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