Therapy for Disability or Chronic Illness
Living with a disability or chronic illness can be challenging. Individuals may feel isolated and stigmatized, as well as feeling that their journey is one that is not being understood by friends and family.
The effects of chronic illness or facing a disability are not limited to depression, fatigue, sleep disruptions, feelings of hopelessness / helplessness, anger, stress and anxiety, as well as other physical complications that may overlap consequential psychological distress. Patients may also find it difficult to comprehend the condition especially when the diagnosis is unclear.
At initial diagnosis, a patient may experience feelings of fear, anxiety, confusion and frustration. The need to make new lifestyle changes will lead to overwhelming stress and increased resentment toward the self. Some patients are eventually able to adapt their lifestyles in accordance to their illness or disability, but others will have to accept permanent changes to their routines which can be very challenging. When faced with such emotional or mental setbacks, a mental health practitioner is able to guide a patient through the process and receiving such support is very beneficial to help the patient cope with acceptance and adjustments.
Mental health practitioners are able to assist in normalizing the feelings that the patient is experiencing and to resolve negative emotions within the self, as well as to offer professional support as the patient navigates ways to resume normality after the diagnosis of the chronic illness or disability. The patient may have difficulties in segregating the sense of one’s self from one’s own illness or disability and the practitioner can help strengthen the sense of self-worth and work with other similar concerns.