Are you struggling with a chronic illness diagnosis?
Living with chronic illness can take a toll on a person not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well. Whether one has been recently diagnosed or living with chronic illness for quite some time, many days seem overwhelming and impossible.
Do you feel like a burden to your friends and family?
Individuals with chronic illness may feel like a burden to their family and friends, especially when they talk about their illness, and the associated pain and suffering they experience. Not being able to talk openly about frustrations about living with a chronic illness can make things even worse.
Mental, emotional, and physical health are all connected!
When one part of our health is affected, the others are as well. Anxiety, depression, and feelings of grief and loss are all common in individuals dealing with chronic illness.
Can a psychologist help?
A specialized field of psychology, called health psychology, deals with the physical, psychological, and social issues that come with chronic illness. Healthcare providers, such as psychologists who specialize in health psychology, can help individuals with chronic illness cope with these issues.
Can I be treated?
Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or if you’ve been dealing with chronic illness for quite some time, a psychologist can help.
- Individuals with chronic pain who want to learn strategies on how to deal with their pain from a physical and psychological standpoint.
- Individuals who have trouble accepting a diagnosis of diabetes which can lead to not taking medication properly.
- Someone who wants to improve their health by learning better sleep practices, setting goals to change their eating habits or getting more exercise.
How can friends and family benefit?
These services can also help family members and friends whose loved one is dealing with chronic illness to learn how to cope and become an effective support person or caregiver.
Whatever the case, living with chronic illness does not need to feel like a huge burden. Seeking out the services of a healthcare provider such as a psychologist, who has training and experience in health psychology, can ease the difficulty of chronic illness and help one live a more enriched life.”
Psy. D., LCP
Dr. Olivia Domczewski is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in Primary Care – Health Psychology, Health Behavior change, Chronic Medical Illness and the impact of Organ Failure and Transplant issues.
Her particular interest in organ transplant and advanced heart failure therapies (e.g. LVAD), as well as grief and loss as it pertains to chronic illness, is especially useful to those struggling with end of life issues.
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