How to Cope With Chronic Illness and Depression?

How to Cope With Chronic Illness and Depression?

Whether it is a recent diagnosis, or you have been coping with chronic illness for a while, there is a high chance that you have probably experienced some form of depression. It is a known fact that chronic illnesses can affect the quality of your life.  

How does chronic illness affect the quality of life? 

Chronic illnesses can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including social life, family, employment and finances. This reduces an individual’s quality of life. Furthermore, most people coping with chronic illness also suffer from mental health problems, especially depression.

How Does Chronic Illness Affect Mental Health?

Chronic illnesses can be exhausting and tiring. In many cases, depression can be a result of a chronic illness. In fact, depression is considered as one of the most common repercussions of a chronic illness. Moreover, many studies revealed that almost one-third of the people with a serious disease experience depression. 

Chronic illness, along with depression, can limit clients activities, affecting their everyday life negatively. In the beginning, an individual may only show subtle signs of depression-like anger, sadness or stress. However, eventually, an individual with chronic illness starts displaying obvious symptoms of depression and might even contemplate suicidal thoughts. Hence, it is essential for clients to learn ways of coping with chronic illness and depression.

So, if you are going through a similar experience, here are a few ways that will help you in coping with chronic stress. 

Have Confidence in Your Doctor

Symptoms of chronic illness remain for a long time, which means you will have to keep on visiting your doctor. However, a lack of confidence in your consulting doctor will worsen your depression. If you’re struggling with chronic illness, your relationship with your doctor comes second to your immediate family. Confiding in your doctor about all your battles and symptoms will make it easier for them to provide you with the required chronic illness care. So, if you aren’t comfortable with your current consultant, find someone who understands you. 

Talk It Out

Coping with chronic stress is extremely difficult. There may be some days when you feel like you are absolutely alone, but on other days, you will convince yourself that you’re not. Opting for counselling or confiding in a close friend or family member can lift some, if not the entire, burden off of your shoulders. 

Isolation is not the answer when you’re coping with depression. It’s important for you to socialize with your friends and family members even if its over the phone or by skype. Having a strong support group puts you in a better and more positive position to deal with your negative feelings and emotions. You can also join a  mentoring program. 

During this current health situation take advantage of virtual forms of connections, Facetime, Video Calls, Zoom calls, even just a phone call can help. Have a watch here about how to deal with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Self-Management 

Self-management in chronic illness is an extremely important step, especially when you are combating depression as well. There are many factors, such as sleeping, healthy eating, and exercising that might be affecting your physical and mental well-being. Not only do these factors affect your medical condition, but they can also influence your psychological condition. 

If you’re struggling to cope with chronic illness and depression, push yourself to mend your lifestyle. You can start by having a healthy and nutritious diet. Moreover, you can engage in some physical activities such as yoga. However, remember to consult your doctor before any exercise. Lastly, ensure that you’re getting enough sleep for your body to function effectively. 

All in all, dealing with chronic illness and battling with depression at the same time can be extremely draining. However, even though it may be really hard, maintaining a positive outlook on life can really keep you going! No matter how tough things get, hold on to your dreams and aspirations and most of all, keep your friends, family and your doctor close! 

Vital Home Health Services is lead by a highly professional and experienced Registered Nurse with over 21 years of extensive experience in both the public and private health sectors. Having a Director of Nursing who has such extensive knowledge and experience has allowed Vital Home Health Services to become one of the fastest-growing community nursing providers in Sydney.

If you would like to discuss your home nursing care needs, or just have a question you would like to ask, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff members.