Coping with Your Diagnosis of a Chronic Health Condition
If you have a chronic health condition, you have a problem that may not go away over time. Heart disease, asthma, arthritis, and diabetes are just a few of the chronic conditions that exist. While your condition may not have a cure, you can take an active role in managing your health.
Coping with your diagnosis
If you’ve just learned about your health condition, you may be angry, depressed, or afraid. Or you might feel relieved just to know what’s wrong. Even if you’ve known about your health problem for a while, adjusting to it can be hard. But learning about your condition can help you cope. Look for accurate and up-to-date books at your local library. If you have access to a computer, check the Internet for reliable health information. Ask your doctor for suggestions. Or contact a group that focuses on your specific problem.
Change is hard for most people. Yet right now you may be facing many changes. What you eat or the way you work may change. Your moods, and even your symptoms, might vary from day to day. Although it isn’t easy, learning to accept change can help you feel more in control.
Feeling you have control can make living with your condition easier. Discuss treatment options with your health care provider. The more you know, the more active you can be in your care.
You may wonder whether you will be able to do the things you’ve always done. That depends on your age, the condition you have, and your goals. To make the most of each day, try to build caring relationships, be active, limit weight gain, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, and eat right. Consider counseling if you have trouble coping with the diagnosis and have increased feelings of sadness or frustration. Also, as hard as it may be at times, do your best to keep a sense of humor.