I hear people saying; "I have Arthritis.", "I have Migraine." "I have RSD." or "I have Fibromyalgia." thus defining themselves by their disease, which is a natural part in the process of accepting and coping with a new reality. The diagnosis becomes a part of your identity in your new life, and you identify with others who share the same diagnosis and limit yourself from healthy people and patients with other problems because "they don't understand what it's like..."
There are countless support groups, organizations and forums for each diagnosis, and sometimes it is easy to focus on the differences, instead of what brings us all together.
I believe that all of us who suffer chronic health problems of any kind have a natural interest in seeing beyond our different diagnoses and working to improve the understanding, scientifically and socially of human health and what it means to live with chronic health problems and disease.
After 15 yrs as a professional patient my experience is this: We have more in common than we think!
See beyond your own diagnosis, talk to other patients, focus on what you have in common, what you can learn from each other and how the other person's experience can help you and vice versa.
Because we are stronger together:)