dealing with a life-changing diagnosis

How To Cope With a Life-Changing Diagnosis.

Being diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, cancer or other chronic illnesses can be devastating. However, there are ways to deal with the emotional pain and maintain the quality of your life.

A chronic health issue can muddle all areas of your life, whether it is a life-threatening or chronic disease, such as cancer or major health challenge such as heart attack, stroke, or a crippling injury. 

A lot of serious health issues seem to develop abruptly, unsettling your life suddenly. You may feel devastated by a surge of difficult emotions such as fear, worry, despair, grief, sadness, numbness, shock, or the feeling that you will never be able to get on. Emotional distress can make it hard to think properly or act, and also result in mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

However, whatever your diagnosis or emotional response, it is essential to note that you are not helpless. There are effective ways to cope with your new situation, relieve the stress and mental distress that often accompany chronic diseases, and how to navigate through the challenging period.

In this blog post, we will be sharing some ways to help you make it through the ensuing challenges.

Get Support

Being diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening disease can cut you off from those closest to you or leave you feeling lonely. You may feel that others can’t understand what you are going through. Or maybe you are unable to open up and express how you feel to other people. Or maybe you are worried about being a burden to those around you if you open up to them about what you are going through. Whatever is your situation, now is not the time to keep to yourself.

Social support can hugely impact your mental health when faced with the stress of a chronic health situation. Social support can also help you provide assistance such as driving you to medical appointments or helping you with home chores and companionship.

Having people around and engaging in social activities can positively affect your mood as you undergo treatment.

Also, there are a lot of disease-specific organizations that can peer you with an individual who has survived the same kind of health condition. Joining a peer support program can help you receive one-on-one support from someone who has first-hand experience and knowledge of what you are going through.

Manage Stress

Stress can add to or aggravate a lot of different medical conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and some side effects of cancer. Managing stress can help you manage these medical conditions better.

Even after having a heart attack or surgery, stress management can help by reducing the number of medications you need to control your blood pressure. Also if you are being diagnosed with cancer, managing stress can help you ease anxiety, relieve fatigue, and affect your mood positively.

Talking to someone you trust, adopting a relaxation practice, getting enough sleep, and being as active as possible can help you relieve stress. Engaging in physical activity is an effective way to relieve stress and burn-off tension, and will help you feel more relaxed and positive.

Deal with anxiety and depression

When facing a life-threatening illness, it is normal to feel sad about your health and also worry about what the future may hold or be anxious about certain treatments

While mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are common amongst patients suffering chronic diseases, they can create an acute and frightful circle. Your medical condition triggers depression or anxiety, which then affects your overall health, which in turn affects the treatment of your medical condition negatively.

Seeing a counselor, easing up on worrying, cutting down on sugar in your diet, and reducing or cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine intake will help in dealing with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
At Applied Home Health Network, we know, understand, and care about your loved ones as much as we do about our own. And we remain committed to promoting the health and well-being of patients, clients, and families by providing high quality and affordable care in the comfort of their home and community and also helping them deal with life-threatening diagnoses better.

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