I Feel Shamed When Discussing Pelvic Health
Dec 01, 2019
I have felt this SO MANY Times...
I have felt guilty and ashamed trying to discuss problems like peeing my pants, or having pain with sex with people around me have terrible and life threatening diseases like cancer...ALS... SCI...
I always feel guilty when I want to discuss with people my problems knowing there are worse things out there.
Feeling ashamed about pelvic health will actually contribute to worse symptoms. Your shame and guilt around what is going on will contribute to more pain or incontinence especially if gone ignored.
I can't tell you how many clients I get weekly who say, "I know it's not that big of a deal... but... "
IT IS A BIG DEAL.
Anything you are experiencing that is not your normal or is causing you to not be able to do something you want to do, is a HUGE deal.
I can't speak for your family members or for anyone in your life, but I can speak for myself and myself treats you and you are a big deal and deserve to FEEL good.
Many of you reading this are thinking this thought:
"But I'm broken. My body is broken. My vagina is broken. And it's just something I have to deal with and manage."
You've also probably been in a situation where you've discussed what is bothering you with another medical professional and you left feeling shamed...Things like:
Well you never learned how to do this properly.
You shouldn't have been pushing this whole time. You did this to yourself.
You should have educated yourself before having a baby.
Things like that can have a powerful effect on your feelings of yourself and how you react to getting help with pelvic dysfunctions.
If someone is shaming you about pelvic floor dysfunction or because you've brought this up, it's NOT OKAY.
I want to take a few moments and discuss some questions I discuss with my clients about shame.
- What exactly does shame mean?
- Shame can be described as a powerful emotion that makes you believe you are flawed in some way. This leads you to believe you are not worthy of acceptance or belonging. (Brene Brown speaks on this in deep detail!)
- What is the difference between shame and guilt?
- We use these terms pretty closely together and often times tie them together. The reason that is so, is because shame is the actual emotion but guilt is the reaction. Guilt is how you respond to feeling ashamed.
- Why do you talk about shame when you are a physical therapist?
- As a physical therapist, in order to do my actual job, I need to assess mental health as well in order to accurately determine if there is a referral that needs to be done or if I'm able to work with you through some of the healing process.
- Shame will actually cause a person to shut down their other working emotions and they cannot feel anything but shame. This shows up for instance with a client who has had a miscarriage but was told it's because she had wine without knowing she was pregnant. She will feel shamed and cannot come out of that emotion.
- This will make your nervous system respond to what it believes is a threat and therefore much of our physical functioning will shut down as well.
- I see this occur when clients are in pain or if they are having symptoms and they push themselves harder or they talk themselves out of having the symptoms, keeping so busy they ignore it.
- How do I help myself so I do not allow this to get worse?
- You recognize the shame you feel. You recognize the shame you feel and you work through it.
- This can be working through it by journaling, meditating... or reaching out for help.
- What do you do as a physical therapist to help people work through shame?
- I, personally have had to do the hard work. So, based on my experience and expertise in working with clients who have a history of trauma based dysfunctions, I've been able to construct a few tips for you:
- Admit to yourself that you are feeling ashamed.
- Write it down. Then free journal about WHY you think you feel shamed.
- Then you will do a release meditation to help you let go of the shameful feelings.
- You take 30 minutes per day to do the above until you are able to breathe and relax.
There are so many different journaling prompts and so many different meditations that you can do that will really and truly assist you in healing. But that is the first part.
You cannot heal your physical body without first healing your mind.
If you have questions or want to work with me on eliminating shame and guilt around pelvic health, please head over to my contact page and lets get on a call <3