Published on July 18, 2022

Practical Tips for Coping With a Life-Threatening Illness

According to the CDC, chronic diseases tend to be life-threatening because of the negative impact on life expectancy and quality of living. Currently, 40 million Americans are living with various stages of life-threatening illnesses. As if that is not enough, these groups experience a myriad of negative emotions, leading to poor mental health. Moreover, the suddenness of these ailments and their long-lasting nature make it worse. Fortunately, with appropriate coping mechanisms, you can make your mental health a priority

Feel the emotions that come after the initial diagnosis

Naturally, bad news never makes anyone feel good. Instead, emotions revolving around anguish, regret, disappointment, anger, and disbelief are more typical examples people experience. It is normal to allow yourself to feel the flood of emotions that hit you. Ironically, ignoring these moods is more harmful to your mental health. It is worth noting that even though there is no discussion of death, this is a grieving period. You are distressed because of the apparent loss of good health.

However, the guiding principle is not to allow yourself to lose control of your emotions and mental strength. A healthy grieving period takes time but, in the process, things begin to ease up. Admittedly, it may seem easier than done. But, when you take that utmost decision to feel the emotions, in no time, you will slip into your routine with a renewed determination to face the situation head-on.

Be patient with treatment plans and recovery period

A life-threatening illness usually takes time to manage. It may take months or years, and the treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the diagnosis. Additionally, you are likely to have several consultations with your medical team to discuss lifestyle changes. In all of these happenings, it pays to exercise patience and adhere to the medical advice provided by specialists. Therefore, digging up information from the internet, especially regarding mortality from the condition, may not be too helpful. Mind you, apart from some credible websites, several others may be inaccurate or just projections.

After the initial diagnosis, it is expected for the medical team of specialists to prescribe a suitable treatment course. Sometimes, these courses change midway, and you will have to begin a more potent alternative. For example, breast cancer treatment options vary. Therefore, depending on specific parameters, the specialist may forego one plan for another. Exercising patience allows your mental health to stay in equilibrium. Moreover, it can contribute to the emotional and psychological strength needed to face the road to recovery.

Reach out for support

The tendency to go into self-isolation after the first diagnosis is relatively high. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, almost 14 million of the American population live alone. Persons within this group are said to be mainly older adults. Next in line are people between the ages of 35 and 45 years. The breakdowns are pretty worrying precisely because they have the potential to inhibit a sound support system after a diagnosis.

According to medical studies on the human mind, sharing problems with a trusted person or support group eases the emotional burden. Based on this reason and several more, you will not be helping yourself when you recoil into your shell. Thankfully, social support groups dotted around the nation offer a community to persons dealing with life-threatening health conditions.

Indeed, there are many support groups available. Fortunately, with a bit of online search, you can find a suitable group for your peculiar situation. 

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