Hydrocephalus

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    Reclaiming My Body After Trauma and Hydrocephalus

    I am someone who has lived through significant #Trauma including sexual assault and multiple surgeries due to severe physical abuse that resulted in hydrocephalus and 22 brain / abdomen surgeries.  Part of the aftermath of all of this was a deep sense of shame and guilt over what happened to me, especially physically.  I am working on it in therapy and my therapist is trying to instill in me self-confidence.  I am also big on the body positivity movement and wrote another article referencing the ways in which I am practicing body positivity by accepting my hydrocephalus surgery scars.  Please see:

    How I’m Practicing Body Positivity by Accepting My Hydroceph...

    One of my dreams has always been to wear a bikini because it makes me feel like I am just like every other person who can wear a bikini. The way I see it for me putting on a bikini is demonstrating body positivity and pride.  It is demonstrating that I am in control of my body and that I can reclaim it after all the trauma it has been through.  Summer 2022 was when I recently tried on a bikini for the first time.  These are the takeaway’s from the experience:

    I take pride in my body and all that it has endured and I know that without my scars I would not be alive!  My scars signal my fight for my right to live!
    I am in 100% control of my body – as a surgery survivor and sexual assault survivor, bodily autonomy is critical and essential!  Again I am in 100% control of my own body – it is empowering and I am empowered!
    I feel that every body type of all shapes, sizes, abilities and ethnicities should be celebrated!  We are all unique and special and deserve to be treated as such!
    Body shaming because someone “looks different” is NEVER EVER okay! I shamed myself for years into thinking I could never wear a bikini, because of my scars but that stopped the day I put on a bikini and realized that shaming myself was one of the worst things I could have done.  To myself I am sorry.  I am humbled by my body and yet amazed at its capabilities.

    What are you reclaiming Mighty community members?

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    Look at your Spina Bifida as a positive not a negative

    Group Name: SB & Hydro Warriors group
    Title: Look at your Spina Bifida as a positive not a negative
    Date: October 24, 22

    Picture Description: We don’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose to see it as a positive, to believe it is for the best, and to use it to grow.

    What does this quote mean to you as someone with Spina Bifida and or Hydrocephalus.

    Don’t look at your disability as a negative. Instead think of all the obstacles you overcame as someone with a disability. What are the obstacles you faced in your life that a lot of people said you wouldn’t? Please be respectful to each other. #InspirationalQuotes #SpinaBifida #Hydrocephalus

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    #CheckInWithMe

    Hello my followers! What is one thing that you have hope for this week? What is something that gives you hope for a good week ahead? #Hope #Healing #MightyTogether #Depression #Anxiety #PTSD #Hydrocephalus

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    #CheckInWithMe

    Hello my followers! How are you? Here is your friendly reminder as we begin a new week! #MightyTogether #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #PTSD #Hydrocephalus #AgenesisoftheCorpusCollosum

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    My Ongoing Battle With Mental Illness

    Mental health/illness is widely considered a taboo subject. When you try to cry out/ask for help, people either ignore you or call you ‘attention seeking.’ So instead of feeling better, you end up feeling worse and closing yourself off. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life. I’ve been going to counseling for about 6 months now and it’s really helped having someone else to talk to that isn’t my family or someone that knows me. She was the first person outside my friend group that I told about me s3lf-h@rming, and she really helped me sort through the emotions that I was keeping inside. I was born 3 months premature and have many medical problems. I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth and as a result of that, have had many surgeries, the earliest being when I wasn’t even a year old. I am so unbelievably blessed to have found such a loving and trusting community where I can share my story. For anyone else who’s struggling with anxiety/depression, hang in there. Your life is 100% worth it. You are loved. You are valuable. Take it from someone who did, at one point, consider ending it all. Please don’t give up. #MentalHealth #Hydrocephalus #Depression #Anxiety

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    #CheerMeOn

    Hello #MightyLeaders How are you doing? I just submitted a story for publication on #TheMighty and am hoping that it will be published!! #CheckInWithMe #Hydrocephalus

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    #CheerMeOn

    Hello!! I just submitted a story to be published on #TheMighty I am so excited and proud to raise my voice and be a leader advocating for #MentalHealth and #Hydrocephalus #CheckInWithMe

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    The FaceTime Call That Changed My Life

    I’d heard about suicide here and there when I was growing up, but I’d never been or known someone affected by it. That all changed in February of 2017. I had switched from a private school for kids with disabilities to homeschooling after being severely verbally bullied. Among many other health issues, including being a twin preemie, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth.

    Thursday February 2, 2017–I had just finished up my last subject with my grandmother (who was my teacher), when I got a text that made my heart skip a beat. It was from one of my oldest friends (who also attended said school) telling me that she was going to FaceTime me and that my grandmother should be on the phone. I didn’t think anything of it at the time (I figured she was home sick from school or something), but when I answered the call, she was sobbing. I mean, full-on, ugly sobbing.

    In all the years we’d known each other, I think I’d seen her cry maybe once or twice. When she finally calmed down enough to speak, the four words that she managed to get out made my heart stop completely. ‘Steve Thompson committed suicide.’ I don’t remember much about that day, but I remember just sitting back in my chair and just staring blankly ahead, her words not registering at first. When they finally did, it was like running into a brick wall.

    My grandmother asked me what was wrong, but I was crying too much to speak. When I finally calmed down, all it took was those four words for us to break down all over again. Despite him being two years younger than me (three years younger than my friend) I had known him since Grade 2. In the classes we shared, he was always smiling and laughing and happy.

    To this day, I still don’t know if he was struggling with anxiety or depression or some other mental illness, but whenever I see his picture or hear his name, I have to bite back tears. A few years after his death, I created a website focused on suicide prevention. Maybe one day, it’ll turn into a non-profit. I’ve also participated in several suicide prevention runs.

    The website is still running strong, with a blog centered on suicide prevention and other mental health issues related to suicide. More than anything, though, I wish that he’d felt comfortable to talk to someone about what he was facing. Maybe it could have helped. I’ll never know now.

    If you know someone who is struggling with depression or anxiety or any other mental health issues, reach out to them. Your phone call/text might be the only thing keeping them off the ledge. Take it from me, someone who has struggled with anxiety for most of her life and did, at one point, consider ending it all.

    You matter. You are loved. Whatever you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone. Your family, friends, significant others—all of them love you and would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to you. Don’t keep it bottled up. Talk to someone you trust.

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    #CheerMeOn

    Hello my followers!! This week is my 2-year work anniversary!! I am so proud 🥹 🥲 I am a fighter!! My #MentalHealth recovery story!! #PTSD #Depression #Anxiety #Hydrocephalus #AgenesisOfTheCorpusCallosum #RecoveryIsPossible #MightyTogether