Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dystonia: do we live with it or cope with it?

Is there a difference? In a theoretical sense, indeed there is!

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder causing involuntary spasming and contracting of muscles. These muscular contractions in a person’s body have the affect of being twisted into an abnormal posture. There are basically two choices for sufferers to make. We can live with whatever happens on a day to day basis or we can deal with the symptoms by coping with them in a managed, structured way.

Firstly, living with someone or something means reacting to being in the presence of others or with something having an influence upon us, within us, around us, at that time. This may also be explained as an ebb and flow effect within a given dimension of time, space and culture. Secondly, coping with something means acknowledging the presence of whatever it is without denying personal affect that the form, other people or subjective experience of whatever it is, has upon us. The latter explanation means experiencing or dealing with someone or something, accepting what is happening and making a conscious decision to act in response to the given situation.

In relation to dystonia, the first step to coping means acknowledging that our neurological condition cannot be cured by medical intervention at this point in time. Accepting this reality leads to a greater interest in learning more about dystonia, the range of treatment options and understanding how to deal with what is happening in our life at any particular time.

Following on from this brief article, I will write a series of short articles about the following topics:

Dystonia: retaining a positive outlook.

Dystonia: grieving symbolic loss.

Dystonia: identifying and acknowledging limitations.

Dystonia: collectivizing our experiences.

If you would like to know more, please follow the highlighted links above. Alternatively, leave a comment to this article or email me. I will get back to you (

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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