Lena Dunham, star and creator of Girls, said she previously “resisted” using a cane because she was afraid it would “make things weird”
Lena Dunham, star and creator of Girls, first revealed on Thursday that she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome after the paparazzi picture revealed she appears to be holding a cane.
Dunham published a photo of herself leaving a Los Angeles clinique using a walking stick. “I could choose to be embarrassed by these paparazzi pics — I mean, that’s probably the point of someone publishing them in the first place — but I’m really not,” the 33-year-old shared with her fans the bad news on Instagram.
The writer and actress was never afraid to reveal her personal struggles, especially when it comes to health difficulties that few tend to talk about. She has previously revealed her coping with anxiety, pills addiction, and last year, she wrote an essay for Vogue about endometriosis, which forced her to undergo a hysterectomy.
Now the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress who split from longtime partner Jack Antonoff in January 2018, says she is suffering from a disease that few people know about – Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. But, she told US Weekly just few days ago on October 26:
“I have to say, the past two years haven’t just been the happiest years of my adult life, they’ve been the happiest years of my life,” Lena Dunham said. “And that’s not because they’ve been perfect. It’s because I now have the tools based on what I’ve been through — whether it’s losing my health or ending a long relationship, or, you know, challenges with addiction.”
So what is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and what are its symptoms?
“I need support, not just my friends”
Dunham elaborates on the side effects of the disease, which she has to deal with. “Outbreak of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome means I need support not just from my friends, so thanks a sweet walking stick! For years, I’ve resisted doing anything that can ease my physical condition, insisting that a walking stick makes things weird. But it’s so much less weird to actually be able to participate than to stay in bed all day.”
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is actually a general name for a group of genetic syndromes, which manifests in damage to the body’s connective tissue – due to a problem in the production or structure of collagen in the body.
Collagen is the major protein of connective tissue in the body, which is important for maintaining the strength and stability of those tissues. These syndromes usually do not endanger the lives of patients, but they can have a significant impact on the quality of life.
Since this syndrome affects different systems in the body, the symptoms can manifest in chronic pain in joints, skin diseases, skin elasticity, damage to the nervous system, digestive system and blood vessels. Symptoms can vary and be mild in some patients or severe in other patients – and can even lead to disability and dysfunction.
Due to the lack of awareness of this syndrome, many of the patients receive incorrect diagnoses. The average time for a correct diagnosis of the disease from the onset of symptoms is no less than 21 years. That is why it is even more important to Dunham’s sincerity and decision to share her 2.9 million followers in dealing with the disease.
We salute her for raising awareness and wish her better health.