August 4, 2014

Chronic Illness

Chronic illness refers to diagnosed medical conditions that cause some degree of chronic disability to life. Chronic diseases are different. They can be slow to develop, long lasting, and can be progressive and incurable. For many chronic diseases, there is no cure. The long-term effects of a chronic illness may be difficult to predict.

Some conditions cause few problems. Others cause only episodic problems or symptoms that can be controlled with medication. In some cases, however, a chronic disease may severely limit a person’s ability to work, go to school, or take care of routine needs. This can cause feeling of frustration, isolation, dependence, powerlessness and fear.

Often, a person who suffers from a chronic disease has had to make drastic alterations to their life. Sometimes, jobs break down, relationships end, friendships become strained and finances dwindle. Having a chronic disease is stressful, but the effect on the patient’s life causes stressors of its own.

Some Chronic Diseases:
Chronic Kidney Disease
Irritable bowel syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Multiple sclerosis
Cystic Fibrosis
And more.

Some Common Concerns
Despite the wide variety of chronic diseases, there are many common concerns for those who live with them:

  • Knowing how to recognize and respond to changes in condition
  • Maintaining social connections
  • Creating a good working relationship with doctors and care providers
  • Finding and using community resources
  • Maintaining self-care
  • Coping with fatigue, pain, and sleep problems
  • Maintaining good nutrition
  • Managing relationship stress
  • Making decisions about when to seek medical help
  • Talking about the illness with family and friends
  • Managing work, family, and social activities
  • Coping with feelings of depression and anxiety

Megan Hughes has treated clients with a range of chronic illnesses, including Fibromyalgia, Lupus, spinal tumor, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cancer and Vertigo. Every person’s experience of illness is different, but there tend to be similarities in how people react to the profound life changes that illness brings. Megan Hughes can help to deal with those feelings.

If you are suffering from a chronic disease, it is important that you work together with your therapist, care providers and doctor to develop a treatment plan to manage symptoms and prevent complications.