Home Mental Health & Well-Being Impact of Chronic Illnesses on Mental Health

Impact of Chronic Illnesses on Mental Health

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Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are on the rise in almost every part of the world. Sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, unhealthy diets, and stress are said to be the most likely causes behind the growing prevalence of chronic ailments in the masses. Many have to face the pain and trauma associated with ailments such as arthritis and may need to find a rheumatologist in the Orlando area.

Coping with chronic illnesses is challenging for every patient and his family, and it leaves the individual and his loved one emotionally and physically fatigued and not to forget the financial burden. One has to deal with stress, pain, and other challenges that come with ongoing medical care and difficulties one has to face.

It is common to feel discouraged and dejected once one is diagnosed with a chronic ailment or has been dealing with it for a long time. These difficulties can impact the patient’s mental health and his family and other caregivers. It is essential to be aware of how chronic illnesses can leave an impact on mental health and know the signs and risks beforehand.

Some signs of trouble

While it is normal to have a general feeling of sadness and other associated symptoms with chronic illnesses, one must watch out for signs of depression, which is a serious medical illness. Some of the most common symptoms include a persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness, feeling irritability, helplessness, worthless. If the patient shows a loss of interest in daily hobbies and activities and is increasingly fatigued, it is a sign that depression is setting in. Look for signs of changes in appetite, digestive problems, headaches or worse, thoughts of death or suicide,

Thus, if you or your loved one is suffering from a chronic medical condition, they are certainly at a higher risk of depression and need to be monitored closely. Research suggests that those who already have depression and suffer from a medical illness will tend to have a lot more severe impact on their health.

Collaborative and comprehensive  care

Collaborative care is much needed here to help the patient and his family deal with not just the medical condition but also mental health. Sometimes, it becomes essential to treat both chronic illnesses as well as depression at the same time.

Here are some valuable tips that can help the patient and his family members and serve as guidance.

  • Get help as soon as possible as taking early action can help deal with any impacts of chronic illness in a positive way.
  • Seek professional help and consult the physician and mental health provider to design a comprehensive treatment plan for the patient.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle that should include a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol, and staying in touch with family and friends.
  • Create support groups and go for individual and family counselling to create a positive sharing environment where one can effectively express their private feelings.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being.

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