Christal Davis is a 26-year-old graduate student living in Missouri. She first experienced the tell-tale symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in 2016 while completing her undergraduate degree. However, a diagnosis would not come until later. Finally, in May 2018, while working on her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, she was formally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Suddenly, as a young adult just beginning her career, she was faced with a lifetime diagnosis.
Since that time, she has sought to learn as much as she can about this disease, to raise awareness about its impacts, and to support others with chronic illness, whether that means sharing her story on social media, attending local support groups, or lending her clinical expertise to help patients struggling with chronic illnesses.
While her diagnosis has brought numerous challenges, it has also led to growth, encouraging her to take better care of herself by practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga regularly and leading her to become a stronger advocate for herself when setting boundaries or seeking support in her professional life. Today, she continues to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology and uses the knowledge gained from her lived experience with illness and its mental health effects to inform her work and support others.
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