August 27 2023
I opened this box of tissues yesterday and noticed the message on the outside. This collaboration between the manufacturer and Mind, a UK based charity that supports mental health, is a reminder that our own experience–how we live with a condition–is central to well-being. If there is one essential tool for anyone who has lost their sense of smell from a virus, or who has CRS, it’s tissues.
It brought back to me something that I learned very early on in my experience with smell loss. While anosmia, and all of the related conditions are seen by most people as conditions to be treated by ENTs, the reality for us is different. It is a mental health issue as well. We have lost smell, yes, but along the way we may have lost a sense of self, a sense of place, of the seasons, the intimacy of the embrace of our loved ones, the joy of food. We have lost access to so much that we think of as pleasure. For many, it is anhedonia.
In the AbScent community, we continue to discuss the non-clinical effects of living without smell. How isolating it is, not to be able to explain this to our families and friends. The difficulties we experience in sharing this unique bereavement.
Doctors are there to help us with the tools they have. There are things about living with a smell problem however that fall outside of these areas. The AbScent Network is a safe space to explore this. To share with others the story of your journey, and know that there are other people out there who understand you.
Please join us there. We offer discussion in safe spaces, exclusive events, practical advice, and access to the very latest in research that is supporting the recovery and management of those with smell dysfunction.
August 27, 2023