If you live with a chronic condition and experience symptoms of a mental health condition, you are not alone.
Living with a chronic illness often comes at a significant emotional cost. It is not uncommon to experience emotions such as fear, sadness or anger, especially after a diagnosis or during an outbreak.
Often these feelings are temporary and can come. However, sometimes they can persist and be a sign of a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.
People with chronic conditions have a higher risk of developing mental health conditions. At the same time, if you have a chronic illness, the mental health symptoms flare up or worsen.
Taking care of your mental health is an important aspect of taking care of your physical health, especially when you live with a chronic illness.
Members of the PSA Health Line, RA Health Line, and Migraine Health Line community share their points below to navigate the emotional impact of living with a chronic illness.
1- Know That What You Think Or Feel Is Right
Never feel guilty about your feelings. You deserve all the feelings and pain. After diagnosis, we all go through different stages of grief.
When I was in a state of extreme depression, I contacted a hotline that offered telephone counseling. I called a stranger on the phone. It really helped.
Since then, I have been looking for therapy and it has helped me a lot. “- Spinks, RA Health Line Member
2- Prioritize Your Mental Health As You Spread
The pain & fatigue conditions may have a major effect on our mood. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during depression and anxiety.
When I get irritable, I often need to take extra steps to help my mental health, such as talking to my doctor, keeping a journal, and trying to be gentle with myself. ”
3- Focus On The Present And Move On
I am very worried about living with rheumatoid arthritis.
I was diagnosed at the age of 24 and I think my old carefree life is now about medical appointments, making sure I remember my medication, and let me know what I plan to do. Think twice
My whole future now feels like a question mark to me. But I also realized that if I only focused on my thoughts, I would never do anything.
I have to move on and accept what comes. I make adjustments to live a better life at any time, because otherwise my whole life will be wasted.
4- Be Very Kind To Yourself
“The flare-up really surrounds my head. For me, when it flares up, it puts me in mental gymnastics. I start to think, ‘What if this is the moment when it doesn’t get better?’ ? What if that flame stays forever? ”
I think the hard thing about flares is that you don’t always know how long they will last. This is very tiring.
When I’m on an epidemic, I want to make sure I’m kind to myself. Although sometimes it feels difficult, because the flare is hidden. I think to myself, “What if it’s just in my mind?”
I wanted to write all this so you know that if you also experience this mental gymnastics during the flare-up, you are not alone. Jenny Parker, PSA Health Line Community Guide
5- Learn To Identify Anxiety Patterns
It’s easier to panic when I have a migraine. Not only is it painful, but there is also confusion and discomfort in light and sound.
I’m trying to understand other people and what they’re saying, and I’m trying to explain what I’m saying in a way that they can understand.
Learning to know that this is a pattern that has helped a lot. This is not to say that I have not dealt with it yet. It’s very real and scary. Remember, you are not alone. “- RJ Sense, Migraine Health Line Member
6- Remember That A Little Self-Care Goes A Long Way
I know, in order to control my health & pain has now increased my anxiety situations about balancing consistent working & family demands.
I’m trying to meditate, hear some positive affirmations, and remind myself that I need to be there right now.
All this helps to reduce my anxiety. Still, I have to remind myself to take a little care of myself every day. This is very important. “- JWW, PSA Health Line Member
If you live with a chronic condition, you can spend a lot of time and energy dealing with the physical effects of your condition.
Sometimes identifying more visible physical symptoms may be more important than your mental health. However, it is important to remember that your mental health is not different from your physical health.
Mental health conditions can lead to physical symptoms that make living in a chronic condition even more difficult.