Learn how to tame your worries about your health with these coping techniques.
I consider myself an expert on the fear brought upon by rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia because I have learned to overcome and manage my worries alongside my health challenges for the past eight years. I also know that being afraid is one of the most common reactions to forced changes, but it isn’t something you should let consume your life.
7 ways to overcome fears about your chronic illness
1. Do your research
People are afraid of what they don’t know. From the moment of diagnosis, invest time in understanding your symptoms and treatment options. Let your diagnosis be an opportunity for you to grow and learn more about your chronic illness, your body, and all the ways in which you can have a full and productive life despite your health issues.
2. Find the right doctor
When you have a chronic illness, the relationship with your doctor is one of the most important relationships you will ever have. A doctor who doesn’t take you seriously, doesn’t listen to you, isn’t knowledgeable about your disease, or gets easily frustrated with your questions will only worsen your fears and even your symptoms. The right doctor for you will act like your partner in your healthcare. Once you find that person, both your health and outlook on life will improve.
3. Know your life is not over
You are scared and might think your life cannot go on unless you can regain the health you had before chronic illness. Many things will change, but know that your life is not over. While it may be discouraging to see others do things you can’t, the ultimate goal of life is to be happy for ourselves and others. It is okay to grieve, but remember there is more out there. Know that ultimately you will be okay and won’t feel so overwhelmed by the challenges.