Chronic Illness

A long-term illness or chronic medical problems don’t fix themselves and are typically not cured fully. The good news is that most chronic medical conditions can be managed well with medications, but some symptoms may persist and interfere with a person’s daily living activities. For example chronic pain in osteoarthritis.

Here is a list of a few common chronic medical conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Acid Reflux / Heartburn / GERD
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Hormone Imbalance 
  • Asthma / COPD
  • Anemia
  • Arthritis 
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Congestive Heart Failure 
  • Obesity 
  • Narcotic Addiction 
  • Endometriosis
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Acid Reflux / Heartburn / GERD
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Hormone Imbalance 
  • Asthma / COPD
  • Anemia
  • Arthritis 
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Congestive Heart Failure 
  • Obesity 
  • Narcotic Addiction 
  • Endometriosis

What Are Some Effects of a Chronic Illness?

Chronic medical conditions create multiple clinical complaints. Symptoms like fatigue, pain, and mood disorders. Chronic pain, and or chronic fatigue can be debilitating and leads to social isolation. Most individuals with chronic medical conditions suffer anxiety, worry about their conditions and often get clinically depressed. Especially when symptoms are poorly controlled. 

Chronic pain for example is a chronic medical condition by itself but usually in concert with other illnesses. The pain is here today, was here yesterday and will be here tomorrow. It could be from an old injury, old surgery, or nerve damage from medical treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. Chronic pain can be an additional stress that seeps into your everyday life, affects your mood, self-perception and self-worth. Because of the pain, one eventually limits social activities with friends and family leading to social isolation 

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Chronic illness can also influence your ability to function. For example arthritis, leads to morning stiffness, minimized range of motion, and other physical limitations. And like most chronic illnesses, arthritis is not cured. Physical limitations could force you to alter your work and daily activities, or even decrease your ability to work, which causes financial distress, monetary problems, more stress and depression. If you’re a homemaker, your work could take much longer to do. 

Physical limitation brought on by chronic illness may leave you needing the assistance of a relative, your spouse, or a home healthcare provider. Such changes may leave you feeling a loss of control, uncertainty, and anxiety.

Chronic illness and chronic medical conditions may not be cured,  however they can be managed adequately. There are multiple approaches to managing chronic medical conditions. More and more people are turning to holistic approaches of managing symptoms associated with chronic medical conditions. It is apparent that when one family member has a chronic medical condition, the whole family is affected. Stress may build and prolonged stress will cause anger, frustration, despair and, at times, depression. These are often not noticed or addressed in routine medical office visits. 

When Should I Find Help For My Chronic Illness?

The following is a list of the sources and signals of stress that you may experience with chronic illness. Look for help from a mental health provider as early as possible to assist you in understanding and dealing with your illness better.

Chronic Illness Symptoms of Stress:

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Loss of Interest in Things Once Enjoyed
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive Issues
  • Difficulty in Relationships

Chronic Illness Sources of Stress:

  • Chronic Illness
  • Uncertainty Concerning the Future
  • Unpredictability of the Illness
  • Disability
  • Financial Difficulties
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