(Also refer to the article “Living well with chronic disease” by Elli Jacobs as published in “Mindfood magazine – Australia”, January 2023, where Erasmustherapy was quoted)
Coping with a chronic or life-threatening illness can be difficult because it can make a person feel out of control and overwhelmed by the often-drastic lifestyle changes that have to be made and life roles they many no longer be able to fulfil within the family or in a relationship.
When goals and future plans are put on hold or need to be altered, this can lead to emotional highs and lows including other emotional reactions such as, disbelief, feeling depressed or anxious.
Consequently, the sooner you start talking to a professional psychotherapist about your experience the better.
The emphasis with psychotherapy in a situation like this will be on support and coping regarding the medical condition and it is expected that this will affect a person on an emotional level as well. And including other family members or a partner equips them to also deal with the situation emotionally and be able to offer support.
Try and maintain a normal daily routine, focus on creating a healthy balance of physical, emotional and spiritual practices, live in a positive environment, address “controllable” stressors, and engage with support groups that understand your specific needs and can support you regarding the diagnosis or treatment.