Recently I read an article in the Deseret News that stated that between 1999 and 2010, there was a 400 percent increase in women's prescription painkiller deaths.
Women are more likely than men to suffer from chronic diseases, be prescribed pain medication, use medication for long periods of time and become dependent, the CDC reported.
Dr. Scott Ericksen at Lakeview Hospital said, "It's an epidemic here in Utah. It's an epidemic here in the United States."
The Epstein-Barr virus became the malady of the 1980's. The victims are plagued by low-grade fevers, aching joints, and sometimes a sore throat. They're overwhelmingly exhausted, weak, and debilitated. They're often confused and forgetful- many patients feel suicidal, but it isn't clinical depression. Female victims outnumber males about 3 to 1.
Fibromyalgia became widespread in the 1990's. More than 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Most of them are women ranging in age from 25 to 60. Women are 10 times more likely to get this disease than men. Symptoms include: aching, crippling fatigue, abdominal pain, chronic headaches, dryness in the mouth, nose and eyes, hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat, inability to concentrate, disturbances in restful sleep, and depression.
All of these illnesses have been referred to as stress-related.
In an article written by Patricia Holland titled, One Needful Thing, she says, "Too many of us are struggling and suffering, too many running faster that they have strength, expecting too much of themselves. We must have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection. We must not allow our own guilt, the talk-show hosts, or the whole media culture to sell us a bill of goods- or rather a bill of no goods. We can become so side tracked in our compulsive search for identity and self esteem that we really believe it can be found in having perfect figures or academic degrees or professional status or even absolute motherly success."
Obviously the Lord created us with different personalities, as well as differing degrees of energy, interest, health, talent, and opportunity. So long as we are committed to righteousness and living a life of faithful devotion, we should celebrate these divine differences, knowing they are a gift from God. We must not feel so frightened, so threatened, and insecure; we must not need to find exact replicas of ourselves in order to feel validated as women of worth. There are many things over which we can be divided, but one thing is needful for our unity- the empathy and compassion of Jesus Christ.
The prophet Joseph Smith said to the women of the church, "You are now placed in a situation where you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms. If you live up to these principles how great and glorious!- if you live up to your privilege, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates... if you will be pure, nothing can hinder."
I testify to you that if you will turn to the Savior and forget yourself, putting others first, you will find the promised reward of self-love and self-esteem.
Luke 17:33 "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."