How to Cope with Chronic Illness
April 14, 2020
Learning to live with a chronic condition is difficult and can be overwhelming at times. You may be required to make significant changes to your lifestyle due to physical limitations, and this can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. There are many ways to enhance your quality of life and live well with a chronic illness. Here are some points to help you cope with chronic illness:
Research your condition
Research by the National Health Council shows that around 133 million Americans are affected by a chronic health condition, and 88 million have multiple chronic illnesses. There is a wide variety of chronic illnesses, including dementia, cancer, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease, to name a few. These illnesses are characterized as chronic by the fact that they are long-lasting or incurable. This can make chronic health conditions very difficult to accept and live with. However, learning about your condition can help you understand your illness and adapt to deal with your symptoms more effectively. You can find a huge amount of information on various chronic illnesses by researching online or visiting health forums.
Consider alternative therapies
There is an excellent variety of alternative treatments that may be able to help you if conventional treatment is not improving your symptoms. For instance, halotherapy is a natural treatment that uses light therapy to treat various respiratory conditions, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and even cancer. Other popular alternative therapies include acupuncture, aromatherapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Many people with chronic illness choose to try natural therapies as they are less likely to cause the unpleasant side effects that can result from conventional medical treatment.
Complete the recommended treatment
As mentioned, many chronic illnesses are long-lasting and cannot be cured completely. However, many new technologies and treatments can significantly improve the symptoms of numerous chronic conditions. Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice and complete any recommended treatment. This may include a course of physiotherapy, a change in diet, or ongoing daily medication to help ease symptoms. Always speak with your medical provider if you feel that a treatment is ineffective or making your symptoms worse. They may be able to offer alternative medication that will treat your symptoms more effectively.
Get support from loved ones
Your loved ones can provide a valuable support network when you are suffering from a chronic illness. Keep your family and friends updated on how you are feeling and reach out to them for support if you are feeling down or mentally unwell. Your loved ones can also help you with various daily tasks if you are struggling to complete your daily routine safely and independently. For instance, ask a nearby family member if they would be able to pick up your groceries or help with cleaning tasks around the house. There is also a variety of online support groups that have been set up to help people living with chronic illnesses. You can visit psychologytoday.com to find support groups relevant to your location and illness.