Stress and Early-Onset Chronic Illness

Millennial and illness Hi ResWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
March 2020 issue
Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

For most of us, when we think about the age range of 24 to 39, certain defining characteristics come to mind. This is a time when people consider pursuing an advanced degree, decide where they want to live, buy a home, make career choices, and explore relationships and parenthood. These are normal milestones of adulthood.

Nearly 73 million people in the United States are Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). When we think about Millennials, we think YOUNG!

What we might not think about is chronic illness. Yet, reports from 2017 health insurance data show that “over half (54 percent) of Millennials reported having been diagnosed with at least one chronic illness.”

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Health Benefits of Dance

TasteforlifehiresCasey and Bumchin Tegshjargal, Three Time United States Youth and Under-21 Latin champion.

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
January 1, 2020 
Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

Moving can seem unbearable if you are suffering from chronic fatigue and pain. Autoimmune illnesses and other medical conditions invite undesirable symptoms, frequent medical appointments, and stressors that can push exercise to the bottom of a to-do list. But moving doesn’t need to be yet another stressor. It can be soothing, healing, and even joyful.

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Living with Autoimmune Disease

In this brief video I share about living with autoimmune illness. This was made in honor of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, one year ago, but the message still applies. This is one of the first videos I made speaking publicly about my story and living with Crohn's disease and a history of trauma. 


The Lanai Cat Sanctuary: Finding My 'Mana' Amongst the Hawaiian Lions

P1040540smallCasey and Executive Director Keoni VaughnWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW 

This post was republished with permission from The Animal Rescue Site. You can find the original post here

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary Saves Cats, Protects Birds, And Offers A Magical Experience To Visitors

As I watched the island of Maui fade into the distance, I looked ahead at the beautiful ocean water, tropical breeze blowing in my face, and the gentle rocking of the ferry sending me into a dreamlike state. As the waves crashed around me, I shook my head and realized I wasn’t in a dream. I was about to experience one of my most memorable adventures.

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Finding Your Sparkle While Living with Chronic Illness

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

I had a great time with Laura Reagan, LCSW-C as a guest on her podcast Therapy Chat. We discuss everything from living with chronic illness, attachment and trauma, living through your authentic self, body and self sensing, resiliency, ballroom dance, and the importance of creativity and exploration. Her podcast has become part of my routine. Her willingness to integrate topics into the social work field and mental health profession for both consumers and professionals inspires me. She talks about issues that I wish were discussed a decade ago when I was first finding my way through the field of social work. Her topics and guests are progressive and thought provoking. I believe discussing the connections between trauma and chronic illness, such as in this podcast, will gradually make these connections a part of every interaction with mental health and medicine. 


The Lanai Cat Sanctuary: Combining Nature and Nurture

P1040554smallWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
January 8, 2020
Published on

During an incredible trip to Maui, I took a ferry to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. In an exclusive interview with the Executive Director, Keoni Vaughn, I learned what makes this sanctuary magical and how the Hawaiian Lions transform people's lives, ways we execute humane animal rescue, and how to foster a greater sense of community for all living things. This sanctuary is a must see for not only cat lovers but for those who want to feel inspired by nature, beauty, and the spiritual richess of the island. 

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Yochabel's Wisdom: Living with Loss

YochabelIVCJournalLYSWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 6, 2019
Published on

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my precious Yochabel's story as a guest author for, with Ingrid King. This is the eighth and final post from a series of blogs over the past few months. In this series I discuss what it is like to live with a chronically ill cat, the stress, the joys, and the heartache of loss. I also talk about how Yochabel has helped me live with my own chronic illness and ways she helped me cope and gain resiliency. My philosophies about integrative healing apply to Yochabel's treatment as does the use of my healing wheel.

Excerpts taken from The Conscious Cat. For link to full article, see below.

We are stronger than we think

"Sometimes we don’t realize how much strength we have until we are thrust into one of life’s challenges. If someone had asked me a year ago what I would do if Yochabel had a terminal condition, I never would have believed I had the inner resiliency to endure it..."

See full article below to read about how I am living with loss since Yochabel passed away this year.

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