- low mood/depression due to the changes resulting from chronic health issues
- overwhelming stress and worry about health
- no one really understands what it is like to have a chronic health problem
- being judged or shame at having a chronic illness
- overwhelm about making medical decisions
- grief and loss considering the adjustments involved in changing one’s life and lifestyle which may include changes in employment
- concern and worry for one’s spouse/family and the possible impact the diagnosis may have on their life
Caring about your emotions and adopting healthy coping strategies will help foster healthy emotional and mental wellbeing. Consider the following tips to 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, including 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, treatment needs and treatment plan. Try writing your questions down and bring them to your medical appointments. Write down any information your doctor shares with you.
- Encourage your partner to make time to care for his or her self, especially if they are your primary caregiver.
- Counselling can help an individual adapt and cope with their chronic illness by:
- Normalizing the emotions an individual may be experiencing
- Exploring ways to address and resolve troubling feelings
- Supporting an individual to determine what their quality of life will look like
- Helping an individual clarify and maintain a view of themselves separate from their illness
To learn more about how Counselling can assist you in living with a chronic illness, call Choice Health Centre at 902-404-3668 to book a Counselling appointment.
by Heidi Sturgeon, MSW, RSW, MPCC