How to Cope After Being Diagnosed With a Chronic Illness

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How to Cope After Being Diagnosed With a Chronic Illness

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can disrupt your life in countless ways. For instance, your illness can restrict physical movement, affecting your ability to independently do chores. That means you will need to learn how to manage pain and take care of your mental wellbeing. Additionally, you may need to step away from work for a while and make adjustments for the future.

While doctors can provide guidance, medication, and treatments, it’s up to the individual to ensure they make the necessary lifestyle changes to minimize the impact of the illness on everyday life. So today, Pharmacist VS Money explores various helpful steps you can take to cope and even thrive in the face of a chronic illness.

Make Peace with the Diagnosis

Receiving a report stating you have a chronic condition can come as a shock, especially if you do not present any major symptoms at the time. Experiencing the feeling of denial is common, however, the first step towards effectively coping with your illness is to accept the diagnosis. Only after you make peace with the fact that you will need to make changes to your life can you start working towards achieving that.

Additionally, according to research loneliness is another common symptom of having a chronic illness. You may feel that sharing your thoughts or asking for help will serve as a burden. However, the opposite is true. Individuals who seek help from loved ones are known to cope better.

Educate Yourself about Coping

No one person is well-equipped to answer all your questions about your condition, hence it is important to use all resources at your disposal to learn about all the useful ways you can cope with your illness:

  • Connect with a dietician to fix your eating habits and start following a diet that helps boost your immune system.
  • Depending on your condition, whether it is auto-immune, cardiovascular, etc. seek the services of a specialist. Specialists can provide you with a higher level of care for your condition in comparison to a general physician.
  • Join online groups or participate in forums where individuals discuss coping strategies. Learning through the first-hand experiences of others exposes you to various methods you can try and educate yourself about what you can expect in the future.
  • Speaking of education, now might be the time to fulfill that lifelong dream of obtaining your doctorate! An online program might be perfect in your case, since they afford a certain level of flexibility that can accomodate your health condition.

Focus on Mental Health

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, individuals suffering from chronic illnesses have a higher chance of developing anxiety and depression. Prominent causes of this include uncertainty about their future, financial difficulties, and stress-induced by restrictions due to the illness. 

If you feel your mental health declining, it is important to seek help. Joining a support group will help you connect with others who empathize with your situation and provide guidance about coping with stress and anxiety. Similarly, if you prefer a one-on-one setting, reach out to a counselor who specializes in chronic illnesses. During counseling, you will be able to express your thoughts and fears openly, which you may not feel comfortable sharing with your loved ones. You can also explore healthy tactics like meditation to help you feel more grounded and in control. 

When it comes to dealing with a chronic illness, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. The key is to be proactive about your health and make the appropriate lifestyle changes wherever possible, depending on your physical and mental needs. You just might be surprised by your own strength!

Pharmacist VS Money was started to share with you my experience with debts, personal finance, side hustle, and passive income from a pharmacist’s perspective. Feel free to get in touch!