If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by everything going on in your life—finances, job, family drama (save it for your mama)—you have some idea of what mental fatigue feels like. But have you ever thought about how physical exhaustion can feed into mental exhaustion?
Charlene Marshall has been thinking—and writing—about it. But the exhaustion she lives with is unique for someone under the age of 30: Charlene has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a lung disease typically diagnosed much later in life.
As she works to understand how to adapt to life with IPF and reduced lung function, she’s chronicling her experiences and observations in a blog on Pulmonary Fibrosis News, “Younger Than 30: Living With IPF.”
One of her recent blogs had to with the different ways IPF leaves her feeling mentally and emotionally drained. Things other people Charlotte’s age might take for granted, like moving house or figuring out how to spend the day, have been consuming her thoughts and forcing her to make some hard choices. There are other concerns Charlotte faces that her peers do not, like having to ask friends and loved ones for help with tasks she can’t do anymore, or worrying about how her disease progression will affect her family.
Charlotte doesn’t have any easy answers for how to deal with the mental exhaustion of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis—because there really aren’t any easy answers. But she does offer a unique new perspective that you should really check out. The more IPF perspectives we share, the better we understand IPF and each other.