TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
It doesn’t take long when you search on the internet about chronic illness to find people feeling so depressed, hopeless and overwhelmed by not being heard or understood by their doctors, not getting help or support, not being given any direction and feeling that life is no longer worth living if it has to be lived like that.
Chronic illness can absolutely suck. The symptoms, the invisible nature of it all, the fatigue and the changing nature of what each day will bring.
Depression can coincide with developing chronic illness but it can also co-exist with it, adding yet another challenge to getting by day to day.
Lisa Testart knows these challenges intimately living with Crohn’s disease, Myasthenia Gravis, Fibromyalgia and depression.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and having surgery for a ruptured bowel 4 weeks before her wedding in her twenties.
Not being able to establish intimacy with her husband for over a year after the surgery.
Trying to be honest and disclosing her illness to prospective employers only to be rejected then pushing herself to be “more normal than normal” so as not to be seen as “less than” by others which all took it’s toll.
There is a stigma attached to depression, especially when you have attempted suicide. So many people don’t have the courage to talk about it but as you will see in this frank and open discussion, Lisa Testart is not one of those people.
She is passionate about raising the issues, having these open discussions so that more and more people understand the challenges and stigma attached to both chronic illness and depression that exist in our society.
Despite her many challenges, Lisa is a prolific author, experienced and compassionate therapist and contributes so much to the world. Lisa inspires me and I know you she will inspire you as well.
Note: if you are feeling depressed or suicidal please contact Life line, Australia wide on 13 11 14 or the National Suicide prevention lifeline in the United States on 1-800-273-855.
Lisa Testart is the principal therapist at Loving Therapy, a practice she established in 2012.
In 2013 Lisa saw a need to create a safe space within which students could discuss their dreams of private practice, so she founded Networking Therapists in Private Practice, a Facebook discussion group to support practitioners as they explored how to be in private practice.
Lisa is also the CEO and Founding Director of the National Guild of Australian Therapists; a membership based organisation within Australia that focuses solely on private practice, providing professional development and other opportunities for therapists to grow ethically and professionally within their practices.
And if that wasn’t enough, Lisa is the only person in Australia offering professional witness preparation services for parties going through the Family Law Process, working along side her husband, a highly skilled Family Law Barrister.
Lisa does all of this while managing a life with Crohn’s Disease, Myasthenia Gravis, Fibromyalgia and life long Depression. She knows what it’s like to be chronically fatigued, to not be able to keep her eyes open, and to struggle with the day to day issues of finding work, keeping it, and trying to be more normal than the person sitting next to her.
She’s had to learn how sit with her health, her limitations, and not let them define or pigeon hole her into others expectations. She is driven and passionate, and believes in getting on with life a day at a time, and not letting her health control what she can do.
Lisa loves to talk, and will talk the leg off a chair if given half a chance. She’s a keen advocate for others, and willingly talks about her struggles and life experiences to assist others. She believes that it is only through discussions, and the airing of our secrets, that we remove the stigma and uncertainty that exists around mental health and the hidden conditions such as she lives with on a daily basis.
You can contact Lisa Testart via: