Managing grief successfully can help you cope with health difficulties.
Five Ways I Became an Expert on My Chronic Illness
Becoming an expert on your illness can help you cope.
Managing chronic illness requires becoming an expert on your health in order maintain normalcy and to deal with challenges as they arise. Further, taking responsibility for your health empowers you to advance your quality of life, reduce helplessness, and promote self-esteem.
Choosing to Be an Expert
When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia more than five years ago, I wanted someone to tell me that living with chronic illness would get easier. I wanted a quantifiable measuring tool to tell me where my life would be in a year or five years or even ten years.
Over time, I found that both the best scenarios and the worst ones are in my control. While I didn’t know what the future would hold for my health, I could still believe that I did have some control over my life. I could either live with my conditions day-to-day, responding to and dwelling on the changes and symptoms as they happen, or I could take charge and become an expert on my diseases.
Chronic illness takes its toll – and not just physically.
The psychological needs of people with chronic illness are often overlooked and patients find themselves dealing with an uncertainty that often makes coping difficult. Patients struggle with emotional stress caused by illness along with anxieties towards the future and the type of support needed.
Psychological needs that must be addressed include working towards making sense of a life after diagnosis, managing stress and emotional health and realizing that chronic illness affects loved ones.
Read more at Arthritis Connect.