Receiving a chronic illness diagnosis can be devastating. Many illnesses are invisible while others are more visible to the public. These include:
- autoimmune disease
- bone and joint disorders
- genetic disorders
- heart disease
- lung disease
- respiratory diseases
- various forms of cancer
You may find it difficult to manage the painful emotions caused by the changes to your body and your now altered lifestyle. The lack of understanding of family and friends can cause intense feelings of stress and isolation. If you have an illness that doesn’t present physical symptoms, explaining over and over that you need accommodations and can’t do the things that others do can be taxing on you emotionally.
Managing a chronic illness can be an isolating and often physically painful experience. Although this can show up as low-level sadness and frustration, it can also lead to anxiety and depression. Dreading having to ask others for help, or explaining that you have little control over what your body is doing is painful and overwhelming especially for those who are used to being independent and autonomous.
How can chronic illness counseling help me?
Chronic illness counseling can help you better communicate your needs and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression so you can feel more confident going into the world.
Most people have difficulty coping with chronic illness. Almost half of all adults in the U.S have at least one chronic health condition. And those with a chronic illness have anxiety and depression rates significantly higher than average. Illnesses cause bodily changes. However, it can also cause emotional and behavioral changes which are misunderstood or unacknowledged.
There are many misconceptions and false assumptions about chronic conditions. For example, those with “invisible” conditions (e.g., fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue, MS, etc.) often are accused of exaggerating their sickness. This only increases the already felt challenges of living with disease.
What is chronic illness counseling at Lakefront Counseling like?
Our therapists help you learn to manage chronic illness and more smoothly navigate your day-to-day living. We provide a safe space where your needs are heard you can expect to feel more comfortable and in control of your life. You will learn how to effectively communicate with others and address how your condition may be impacting your relationships or work-life balance. Powerful and practical strategies are taught such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and other methods that you can use in your daily life to find relief when you are overwhelmed.
Adjusting to the restrictions of an illness can be very difficult. However, with our help and support, you can manage your illness and enjoy greater happiness in life.