How to Get the Most From Life When You Have a Chronic Illness
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If you are currently living with a condition that is classed as chronic, you will know the struggles that this can present on a daily basis.
According to figures from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), 6 out of 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease.
This figure demonstrates the vast number of people who deal with chronic health conditions and shows that you certainly are not alone if you are one of them. Living with a chronic illness can impact every area of your life, and you may find that your condition affects both your physical health and your mental wellbeing.
There are many different conditions classed as chronic, covering a broad area of health concerns varying from skin conditions to diabetes.
The impact of your chronic illness may make it difficult to live your life exactly as you want it, but there are ways to ensure you get the absolute most from life regardless of your illness. Here are some ways to get the most from life when you have a chronic condition:
Get the Answers That You Need
If your chronic condition developed due to an accident or medical malpractice, you might want answers about how and why this happened. You may be experiencing a vast range of different emotions and be keen to know who can be held accountable.
You may be concerned about the same thing happening to other people and want to prevent this situation from recurring. Getting the answers that you need and understanding why the problem occurred can help you to move on with your life and focus on your health.
Contacting an experienced lawyer, such as Archuleta Law Firm, can help you to get answers to your questions and provide closure for the situation once and for all.
Get a Confirmed Diagnosis
All too often, people live with diseases but do not get a confirmed diagnosis and instead simply deal with the symptoms. However, you may find it helpful to see a specialist or talk with your doctor about your symptoms and to get your illness diagnosed properly.
Once you have your diagnosis, you will be able to gain a greater insight into your condition, and it may even be a relief to have your concerns validated. Having tests and examinations should help to give you a clear insight into what you can expect from your condition in the future and how best to manage it right now.
This newfound information should provide you with answers to any questions you may have about your condition and ensure that you receive the correct treatment.
It will be so much easier to deal with your condition when you have a thorough understanding of it, and your symptoms have been acknowledged.
Talk Things Through
Dealing with a chronic condition can be a difficult concept to get your head around. Receiving a diagnosis can be particularly challenging if you have previously been well and have needed to adjust to a change in your health.
It is only natural to feel a whole range of emotions about living with a chronic illness. You may feel frustrated, confused, or worried about the future. Speaking to a therapist will allow you to process your diagnosis and work through these feelings.
Sometimes, a diagnosis of a chronic health problem can change the dynamic of a family. For example, if someone was the primary earner and suddenly unable to work, or if a family member needs to become a carer.
This disruption and change of roles can impact the workings of the family, and relationships may feel different as a result. If your family life and relationships have changed since your diagnosis, you may want to attend therapy as a family group.
Giving each family member the opportunity to talk through their feelings and share their emotions can bring everyone together and help ease the process of adjustment to this sudden, unexpected change.
Many people find therapy beneficial, but it is crucial to choose the right kind of therapy to suit your needs. Some people prefer one-to-one therapy sessions so that they can gain a fresh perspective on their situation.
One-to-one therapy sessions enable the therapist to focus on you and working directly with you as you talk through your situation and your feelings.
The therapist may use a specific style of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) as a treatment method to help you, so it is helpful to find out what their treatment methods are before you see the therapist.
Whichever option you choose, you should find that your sessions help you to process your feelings and find a way forward following your diagnosis.
Take Care of Yourself
When so much of your life is focused on your health, it may seem strange to remind you to take care of yourself. However, having a chronic health condition could make you more vulnerable to developing other illnesses, so it is worth investing your time to ensure you are looking after yourself.
You may find that so much focus is placed on your illness that other aspects of your health are overlooked. But, it is crucial to ensure that your overall health and wellbeing are taken care of as well.
Following the medical advice given to you by your doctors and taking care of the basics such as getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and getting some exercise (if you can) could all help to keep your general health in good shape.
Another benefit of making sure that you try to get into a good sleep pattern, eating healthy meals, and exercising is that it keeps you in a routine.
Sticking with a routine can help you to feel more like yourself and maintain a structure to your day. This will allow you to get the most from your life and to enjoy living life to the max.
Re-assess Your Priorities
A change in health can often leave you thinking about the future and how it will be different as a result of your diagnosis. This can provide a wake-up call and lead you to completely re-assess your priorities.
Taking the time to think about what you really want from life and gaining a clearer understanding of yourself will ensure that you live life your way, on your terms. Your condition may place some limitations on what you can and cannot do, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue the things you love.
Choosing where you channel your energy and spending time doing the things you love will help you focus on your priorities and continue getting the most from life.
Protect Your Mental Health
Everyone feels a bit down at times, so it is perfectly normal not to feel ecstatically happy in every waking moment. But, it is crucial to monitor your mood so that you can spot any changes and seek the help you need if necessary.
Taking special care of your mental wellbeing is as crucial as looking after your physical wellness.
So, protecting your mental health and doing things you enjoy should be a priority. Maintaining your friendships and talking to friends and family can give your mental wellbeing a massive boost and help you to feel so much better.
Being open and honest about how you feel can help you live your life authentically and make sure you get the most from it without your chronic condition holding you back.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.