Learning that you have a long-term or chronic health condition is often life-changing; understandably, it can take time to come to terms with the news and adjust. However, after the initial impact of the news has worn off, it can be difficult to know where to go or what to do next. ‘Getting back to normal’ is often easier said than done, but there are things that you can do to help you to regain control; read on for more information.
Understand More About Your Condition
First things first, to come to terms with your diagnosis, you first need to understand the condition and what it will mean for your life on a daily basis and long term. Most chronic conditions, while not curable, are manageable, whether it is Crohn’s disease, chronic arthritis or lupus. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about lupus symptoms. The internet can also be an amazing resource for you. It might also be worth noting down your own observations, what exacerbates your symptoms or alleviates them?
The Emotional Process
Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be an emotional process depending on the condition. It can disrupt your entire life. You might feel angry or upset at the unfairness. It can trigger feelings of stress, depression, fear and anxiety as your future become a little more uncertain. Unfortunately, the only way out of these feelings is to simply go through them. These feelings may ebb and flow as you learn more about your condition and what it will mean for your life. There are ways that you can deal with your emotions, think about your preferred methods of self-care and explore them further.
It can be easy to find yourself moping after a diagnosis and being unwilling to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Now is the time that you should be taking control of your own health. Take on board advice from your doctor and make sure that you are adhering to the treatment plan. Think about other lifestyle factors affecting your diagnosis and health and do your best to make those changes, whether avoiding certain things or cultivating better habits.
The Effect on Relationships
A new health diagnosis can take its toll on you, your mental health and your physical health; as such, it can also impact the relationship that you have with those around you. Often after a diagnosis, the impulse is to withdraw a little while you process the information. Some of your friends and family simply won’t understand. Trying to maintain these relationships can be draining, but it is also important that you don’t isolate yourself. Think about where you are spending your time and energy and whether it is truly serving you or not.
Dealing with a chronic condition is incredibly stressful, but for the most part, they can be managed, and they don’t have to affect your life any more than you allow them to. Take the steps to learn what you can about your condition, how to manage it and how to live with it and then move on. Develop healthy habits that allow you to enjoy your life as you did before your diagnosis.