Are you struggling with a chronic illness, like diabetes, Crohn’s, or cancer?
If so, are you also dealing with additional stressors in daily living?
Do you feel down or hopeless that things will never get better?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may worry about your physical condition and how it affects your life. The truth is that coping with a chronic illness can take a toll on you emotionally. Especially if you are recently diagnosed, you likely have questions about your health and treatment. You struggle to make difficult decisions about your care. You also may experience low mood and feel different or isolated from your usual social connections. If your child has a chronic condition, you may worry about how they cope with day to day living and usual activities of childhood. Having a chronic illness can affect everyday life in ways that you never imagined. It can take an emotional toll on you and your family.
What is Chronic Illness?
While many people will have different health problems from time to time, for most people symptoms are mild, will come or go, or will not majorly impact daily living. For some people, though, chronic health conditions can affect every aspect of daily living. For children living with chronic illness, these challenges will follow them throughout childhood and beyond. Chronic illness usually describes conditions that last more than three months, interferes with activities of daily living, and requires frequent medical attention or hospitalizations. It is a wide term that covers many conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, sickle cell anemia and so on.
Although the health conditions are very different, people who live with chronic illness have a lot in common. Learning to cope with a chronic illness can be stressful for the patient, siblings, parents, and extended family and friends. Increased stress can often lead to increased vulnerability to emotional or social difficulties, such as depression or anxiety. The good news is that you don’t have to cope alone and that you can get help to learn how to live with your condition and still enjoy life.
Common Stressors in Coping with Chronic Illness
Chronic illness adds a complex new layer of challenges, such as:
- Coping with pain and discomfort
- Managing medication/treatment of symptoms
- Frequent visits to doctors or surgeries/procedures
- Increasing financial concerns
- Time spent away from pleasurable activities
- Coping with feelings of loss/grief, anger, sadness or anxiety
Sometimes these stressors can feel overwhelming and confusing. If you are experiencing these stressors, you may find it useful to speak with a trained mental health professional. Our therapists can help you cope with complex feelings and support you as you make difficult decisions about your health. Wellview Counseling has caring counselors who will partner with you to develop a plan to care for the whole person: body and mind.
How Counseling Can Help Coping with Chronic Illness
Our caring counselors can help you cope with the emotional side of chronic illness. Wellview Counseling specializes in depression and anxiety treatment for all ages. We have skilled, compassionate therapists who can help you build a life worth living. They will get to know you and build a customized treatment plan with you. Treatment may involve traditional talk therapy for our teen and adult clients, or for our younger clients, treatment may include play therapy and expressive techniques. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment approach that has helped many people struggling with chronic illness live full and satisfying lives. Your therapist may also suggest joining a support group to meet other people with similar concerns.
How to Begin Counseling to Cope with Chronic Illness in the Atlanta Area
If you’re struggling with the emotional toll of chronic illness, our counselors are here to help. At our Roswell, GA counseling office, we have caring therapists who understand the impact your physical health may be having on your emotional and mental health. To get started, please follow the following steps:
- Contact our office
- Connect with one of our expert counselors
- Begin your journey towards emotional healing
You can learn to balance your physical and emotional needs. While living with complex medical needs or supporting someone you love who is medically fragile will always come with stress, it can be less stressful than this. Having the support of a mental health professional can be empowering and can help you learn to make self care a priority.
Other Services Offered by Wellview Counseling
In addition to providing chronic illness counseling, Wellview Counseling also offers child counseling and play therapy, teen counseling, individual counseling, therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression, trauma and PTSD treatment, and positive discipline parent education opportunities. Additionally, if visiting us at our Roswell, GA counseling office is not an option, we encourage you to consider online counseling with one of our skilled therapists. Contact our office to learn more!