CHRONIC ILLNESS & YOUR EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WELLBEING  

Are you or someone you care for living with a Chronic Illness? Chronic Illnesses, such as Arthritis, Cancer, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Diabetes, Heart Disease, Mood Disorders, Parkinson’s and MS (Multiple Sclerosis), tend to develop over a period of time and are often long term and/or life long. Receiving such a diagnosis can feel overwhelming and frightening for the individual receiving the diagnosis as well as for their family.

Following a diagnoses of Chronic Illness an individual may experience a range of emotions including:

  • Feeling of low mood/depression due to the changes resulting from chronic health issues;
  • Feeling of overwhelming stress & worry about one’s health;
  • Feeling that no one really understands what it is like to have a chronic health problem;
  • Feeling judged and or shame at having a chronic illness
  • Feeling overwhelmed about making medical decisions;
  • Feeling emotions of grief and loss considering the adjustments involved in changing one’s life and lifestyle which may include changes in employment;
  • Feeling of concern and worry for one’s spouse/family and the possible impact the diagnosis may have on their life;

Experiencing such a range of emotions is often described as being on an emotional roller-coaster.  It may help to remind yourself that these feelings are normal, and will likely ease with time.

Caring about your emotions and adopting healthy coping strategies will assist in fostering healthy emotional and mental wellbeing. Consider the following tips to help guide you in supporting your emotional and mental wellbeing while living with chronic illness.

  • Identify your personal challenges in living with a chronic illness;
  • Develop a self management plan based on your individual needs which will assist you in living proactively
  • Learn to “pace” yourself with work, family and/or social commitments. This includes adjusting expectations of yourself;
  • Adopt stress management strategies which include allowing time and space for activities and relationships which leave you feeling connected, supported and that bring you moments of joy;
  • Stay informed and involved in your health care. Learn about your illness and treatment needs and treatment plan. Try writing your questions down and ensuring you bring your questions to your medical appointments. Write down any information your Doctor shares with you;
  • Encourage your partner to make time to care for himself or herself, especially if he or she is your primary caregiver;
  • Counselling can also help an individual adapt and cope with their chronic illness by:
THERAPY can offer support to an individual living with Chronic Illness by:
  1. Normalizing the emotions an individual may be experiencing,
  2. Exploring ways to address and resolve any troubling feelings
  3. Supporting an individual as they determine what quality of life will look life
  4. Helping an individual clarify and maintain a view of themselves separate from their illne

     

    If you are interested in learning more about how Online Therapy can assist you in living with a Chronic Illness please call me at  (902) 460-0124 or email me at heidi@heidisturgeon.com to schedule your free 20 minute consultation. Looking forward to connecting with you. 

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