Depression & Chronic Illness

I’m sure you or someone you know has a chronic illness. These illnesses includes diabetes, COPD, lupus, HIV, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and more. You been dealing with the same chronic illnesses for so many years and it has been cramping your style. People often experience depression due to the obstacles of their chronic illnesses.

Let’s think about this for a moment. You started off living a healthy life and then bam, you got diagnosed with a medical condition with very little chances of it being cured. You are making multiple medical appointments, spending money on co pays, popping different prescription medications, dealing with chronic pain, calling out sick from work multiple times, trying to manage your household but you could barely do so because of your physical ailment, unable to spend time with friends and family because you are too exhausted and just want to be in bed. I mean seriously, I’m getting depress just typing this article……damn!

The depression occurs because once you have a chronic illness, it changes everything in your life, but does that mean it’s the end of your life? Hell NO! It’s ok to feel shock, scared, angry when you hear that you have kidney disease, but what are you going to do next? Without the support and resources the depression can worsen and so will your health condition. Here are a few quick tips to manage your depression.

1. Seek support- Who are your cheerleaders? Who are the people who can listen while you bitch and moan about your situation? Identify the folks who are helpful, reliable, and understanding. Friends, family, church members, therapist, etc.

2. Have a great medical team- Do you trust your medical team? Are they helpful and patient with you during your visits? Having a good rapport, and good services makes a difference mentally. I’m very lucky to have a good team of specialists from Northwell Center when I get treated for my lupus.

3. Counseling- In addition to having a support network, counseling helps as well. A therapist can help guide you to managing your depression by using different techniques like problem solving or stress management. Sometimes, people with chronic illnesses often have negative beliefs about themselves and have difficulty moving forward.

4. Get Educated- Join a support group in your area. You can get support from others who are going through the same thing as well as learning how to manage your life with the condition. Research online and asking questions to medical professionals helps too.

Understand you are not alone with this situation. I work with clients who have chronic illnesses who need help adjusting to their job, home, social life, etc. You can live with the illness, but you don’t want to the illness to live you.

people, emotions, stress and health care concept - unhappy afric