Being Diagnosed With A Chronic Illness Is Tough. These Steps Can Help.

It's easy to feel helpless, but it's important to know how to fight back. Being Diagnosed With A Chronic Illness Is Tough. These Steps Can Help. Shutterstock

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The randomness of disease is both unfair and unpredictable. Worse yet, it often takes months or years to accurately diagnose some ailments.

But when a doctor finally delivers the news, despite how hard it might be to process, it’s crucial to develop a game plan that will help ensure a full and fulfilling life despite living with chronic disease.

It’s increasingly common

One important thing to remember is that an unwelcome diagnosis doesn’t have to derail your plans for the future. In fact, one estimate indicates that three-fifths of all Americans have at least one chronic illness.

These include widespread diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes or more uncommon ailments that might be harder to identify. But no matter the issue, chronic illnesses by their very nature are not likely to go away, so it’s important to know what you should expect and how to prepare for the unexpected.

Experts have a few tips:

  • Go ahead and grieve: Even though chronic illness isn’t a death sentence, it could lead to significant losses … from physical mobility to the career you’ve spent years advancing. So it’s only natural that the stages of grief would apply, and you should explore them all.
  • Make some adjustments: After the initial shock wears off, medical and mental health professionals can offer some personalized tools that will help identify the next steps toward developing a positive attitude that will help you fight this battle with poise and courage.
  • Reach out for help: Don’t try to do it alone. There are support groups, specialists, and loved ones who will be there for you along the way. And if you’re not sure what you need, it’s OK to admit that and just take things one step at a time until you get back on track.
Chris Agee
Chris Agee December 19th, 2023
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