The Doctors, CBS Living with Dystonia
Imagine having constant muscle spasms and not being able to stop your body from shaking uncontrollably. Alex, 27, has lived with this debilitating feeling since she was diagnosed with dystonia in 2007.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. The contractions force the body into repetitive and often twisting movements as well as awkward, irregular postures. Presently, there is no cure, but multiple treatment options exist, including physical, speech and voice therapy, medications, Botox and surgery.
“I am in the worst pain all the time,” Alex says. “I have my bad days, where I wish I was dead.”
Alex is so bothered by people staring at her when she shakes that she rarely leaves her house. “I can’t live like a normal girl,” she says. “I can’t go shopping because I’ll break down in the store. It’s too tiring for me to even attempt to put on makeup or attempt to throw an outfit together. This has just robbed me of everything and it hurts every day.”
After giving her inspirational advice, Montel takes Alex out in public for the first time in nearly six months. “I felt so comfortable with Montel being by my side,” Alex says. “It made me feel so much better that I had someone who knows what I’m going through.
“I just don’t want people staring at me like I’m a monster,” she says through tears. “I’m not. You’re looking at me in a dirty way, and it hurts. I just would rather have people have the guts to just come up and, you know, [ask] ‘What’s wrong? Are you having a bad day? Do you need some help?’ I would rather them do that than just stare at me.”Click here for the show synopisis and links to Alex with Montel.