Monday, September 6, 2010

Chronic Illness: Emotional Ups and Downs

  • Maintain normal daily activities as best as you can.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Continue to pursue the hobbies you enjoy without overexerting yourself.

If your illness impairs your ability to perform activities that you enjoy, check with your doctor about possible ways to get around the obstacles. Keep in mind that your physical health can directly impact your mental health. Men may feel guilty about not being able to work, perform sexually, or provide for the family, while women may feel guilty about not being able to care for children or the husband. Negative emotions such as denial, anger and frustration are not uncommon when you learn life has dealt you something painful and unexpected. In addition, many chronic illness are associated with an increased risk of depression. Such a state of affairs does not mean a 'failure to cope' but may indicate a disruption in the body's neurochemistry. Such as disruption can be rectified by appropriate medical treatment.
At times, you may need more "tools" to deal with these negative emotions. Professionals, such as psychotherapists or psychologists, can help you put things in perspective. They can also teach you coping skills, including relaxation techniques, that may be helpful. Sometimes, a support group is the best answer. Again. your doctor is the ideal person to suggest the best course in your specific case.

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