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Who is in Charge?
Are you taking charge of your chronic illness or is it taking charge of you? There are many different chronic illnesses. They can develop at any age as well as when we get older. Some can have a minimal impact on us and others can be life threatening. Yet each can have an irreversible effect on our lives in terms of emotional functioning and the tasks of facing daily challenges to our way of life.
By definition a chronic illness is a condition that does not go away – there is no cure. Modern medicine can only offer treatment to control the medical condition, slow it’s progress and prevent it from getting worse. One common denominator of all the chronic illnesses is the fact that you are left with the task of learning the skills to live successfully with it.
Guidelines for coping successfully with a chronic illness:.
1. Keep active by having a fixed schedule every day. This can keep you
involved in purposeful activities and prevent negative ruminations and
feelings of worthlessness.
2. Build a network of people in your life for emotional support. Isolating
yourself is not productive and can cause an increase in depression.
3. Learn what situations trigger your symptoms, e.g., pain, and try ways of avoiding them.
4. Find relaxing, pleasurable activities that build your confidence and pride in yourself.
5. Learn to recognize negative thoughts that can increase anxiety and
There are many more guidelines and recommendations. The good news is that learning to cope with a chronic illness can be accomplished with research-proven forms of treatment.