September 13-19 is National Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Today I wanted to tell you some things you may not know about chronic and/or invisible illness.
Did you know that almost 50% of the population of the United States has a chronic illness?
That by 2020, according to the Department of Health and Human Services 157 million people will be affected by chronic illness?
INVISIBLE ILLNESS makes up 96% of chronic illness. These people do not use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy.
Did you know that 60% of the chronically ill are between the ages of 18 and 64?
The divorce rate for couples with chronic illness is over 75%.
I have to stop here for a moment. I just kept saying, WOW. That is HUGE! Seventy five percent!Three-fourths. Only 1 in 4 marriages with chronic illness survive. I can understand why, because it's hideous to live with, and it's horrible to take care of.
It makes me all the more thankful for MY husband, and for the other solid marriages I know of where the couple is dealing with chronic illness. Thank you to our caregivers. God Bless all of you. We know it's hard. It's hard on us too, but you have to watch a loved one suffer. You usually work outside the home as well. If you don't, you have to keep the home and cook, many times special diets. You run the errands, call the doctors, deal with insurance, and for that, we thank you.
So from the bottom on my heart, thank you!
The risk of depression is 15-20% higher in people with chronic illness.
Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides.
And finally, did you know that those who use their religious faith to cope are significantly less depressed, even when taking into account the severity of their physical illness? In fact, the clinical effects of religious coping showed the strongest benefit among those with severe physical disability. Some 87 patients hospitalized with serious illness who also then suffered depression were followed over time in another study. The patients with a deep, internalized faith recovered faster from the depression, even when their physical condition wasn’t improving.
(Statistics from http://invisibleillnessweek.com/2009/05/06/statistics-chronic-illness/)
There is a reason for my hope in trials, for my peace in chaos, for my joy in sadness. His name is Jesus. I know someday I will be with Him, free from all this external baggage. I will be whole. I will be healthy. I will be perfect. And I will be free.