Understanding Chronic Illness and How to Cope With it

Feb 14, 2022

Dealing with the pain after something breaks or following surgery is not challenging, but on the upside, you know you’ll get back to normal after some time. However, that’s not the reality for chronic conditions. 

When you have a disease where there’s no cure in sight, it can be a challenge to survive every day, especially when you don’t know which symptoms will show up tomorrow. A chronic illness usually comes with fatigue, pain, and stress—and it’s taxing to think about handling it on a daily basis. 

In this article, you’ll see a more profound way to understand chronic illness with some tips on how to cope with it.

What Does Chronic Illness Mean?

Chronic illness means having a health concern that you will carry for a long time—way beyond a year of your life. Because it comes with many difficulties, you must maintain consistent care with a primary care provider. The ongoing medical care will help you manage all of the symptoms and deal with the things you have to go through every day.

With some chronic illnesses, it can be hard to handle even the most minor things, like what we call “Activities of Daily Living”, or ADLs.  It includes eating meals, taking baths, getting dressed, or using the bathroom. Handling them can affect your family, especially those who’ll be in charge of providing care.

What Are the Common Effects of Chronic Illness?

Chronic illnesses come with disease-specific symptoms, so it can be hard to define them all. However, there are invisible symptoms that they all share—fatigue, mood disorders, stress, and pain. With an illness hindering you from doing your daily activities, those three are the common effects you can expect every day.

Being chronically ill may also come with physical changes. Your disease can affect how you handle your self-image. Sometimes, you won’t feel good about yourself, leading you to stop socializing with others and going out. Linked with this can be developing anxiety or depression, but you can manage these things with the help of mental health professionals.

Chronic illness can also hinder your ability to work. When you wake up, you’ll deal with morning stiffness, and it can take time to warm up your body and increase its range of motion. Physical limitations can hinder you from taking on job opportunities, possibly giving you a harder time completing your tasks as a homemaker.

What Type of Help Can I Get to Manage Chronic Illness?

Finding out you’ll have a chronic illness that you’ll be facing for the rest of your life can be overwhelming, but you can get support through the following options:

  • Individual Counseling

People have individual activities that require one-on-one attention. With counseling, you can discuss personal or sensitive issues you feel as you live with your challenges every day. 

  • Couples or Family Counseling

With your chronic illness, you also affect the people you live with at home. Because of these challenges, it’s essential to find a family mental health provider to help you have healthy discussions about possible issues in the home.

  • Support Groups

Sometimes, you might think that you are bearing life’s burdens alone, but you must remember that other people are battling similar battles as you. Going to a support group lets you talk to individuals who have the same chronic illness, learn about different ways to handle your troubles, and simply get a sense of belongingness.

Final Thoughts

When you have a chronic illness, you must seek help when you know it’s getting harder for you to cope. Taking action as early as you can is beneficial to your physical and mental health, so it’s best to work with your healthcare provider right away.

If you seek help from a direct care physician South of Atlanta, you should consider visiting HealthSprings Direct. We offer convenient, comprehensive, and technologically advanced healthcare for the best primary care including care of chronic health conditions. Please contact us today to learn more about our personalized medical care programs.