Living With Chronic Illness
A chronic illness is any condition that lasts for an extended period of time. Many people with with chronic conditions require ongoing care and may have difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as going to the bathroom, getting dressed and leaving the house. This can also put a strain on close relationships and affect mental health.
Emotional effects of living with chronic illness
The emotional effects of living with chronic illness are far-reaching. Physical manifestations of stress are not unusual, and these can create a cycle that adds to existing needs. Fatigue and mood disorders can become frequent, as can the overwhelming psychological burden of having to keep up with health responsibilities, such as medications or physiotherapy.
Importance of self care when living with chronic illness
When living with an illness, it’s important that you practise self-care. This means treating your ‘self’ holistically, instead of just taking care of your illness. To make sure you’re practising self-care, ask yourself if you’re taking time for regular checkups and tests, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep. If you are practising good self-care but still feeling overwhelmed,, talk to your doctor about treatment options, support or medications that can help ease symptoms.
Effects on friends and family members
Living with a chronic illness can be challenging not only for you, but also for those who care about you. If you’re living with illness or pain, you might find that your friends and family members feel worried about you, or guilty that they are unable to help you. Take time to talk to them about your needs, and also to arrange activities to do together that take you all away from the stresses of chronic illness.
Financial effects of chronic illness
People living with long-term chronic illnesses may find they are unable to get work that fits with their health needs, adding financial strain to their day-to-day life. However, working within capabilities may reduce some of the strain, such as work-from-home positions or those which offer a level of flexibility.
If you are living with chronic illness or caring for someone who is and are struggling to cope, please seek expert support and advice.