Coping with chronic illness and depression

A chronic illness is a health condition that goes on for a very long time and often cannot be completely cured, although some can be controlled through lifestyle and certain medications.

1. Impact of chronic disease

A chronic disease is a health condition that goes on for a very long time and often cannot be completely cured, although some can be controlled through lifestyle and certain medications. Some chronic diseases are common, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
People with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop depression. In fact, depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It is estimated that up to one-third of people with chronic illnesses have symptoms of depression.
When you have a chronic disease, you will often feel pain and fatigue. Physical changes from medical treatment can affect your appearance. These changes can make you lose confidence. When you feel negatively about yourself, you can isolate yourself from other relationships.
Chronic illness can also affect your ability to function at work. Range of motion and physical limitations make it impossible for you to adapt to the work environment. Reduced ability to work can lead to financial hardship. For housewives, a particular task may take longer to complete. You may need the help of a spouse, loved one, or home health care providers. As your life changes, you feel out of control and become anxious when you don't know what will happen to you.
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2. How to deal with chronic disease

You need to seek help when you feel hopeless and helpless. Taking action early will help you understand and cope with the effects of chronic illness. Learning how to manage stress will help you maintain a positive physical, emotional, and mental outlook in life.
Medical professionals will help you devise a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. These measures are designed to help you regain a sense of control over your life and improve your quality of life. When signs of depression appear, medications other than those used to treat the illness may be prescribed to improve your mood.
There are many supportive measures available to people with chronic illnesses. Among them are individual counseling and support groups.
Support groups provide an environment where you can learn new ways to cope with illness. You can share the method you have learned with others. You will also gain an extra source of strength knowing that you do not have to face your difficulties alone.

3. Chronic diseases make you more susceptible to depression

While any illness can make you more likely to feel depressed, the risk of chronic illness and depression becomes higher with the severity of the illness and the degree of life disruption it causes. out. The risk of depression is typically 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men. However, people with chronic conditions face a much higher risk, ranging from 25-33%. The risk is especially high in people with a history of depression.
Depression caused by a chronic illness often makes it worse, especially if it causes pain and fatigue or it limits your ability to interact with others. Depression can add to pain, as well as feelings of fatigue and lethargy. The combination of chronic illness and depression can cause you to isolate yourself, which can potentially make depression even worse.
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Research on chronic diseases and depression indicates that depression rates are high in patients with chronic diseases:
Heart attack: 40%-65% experience depression Coronary artery disease (no pain heart ): 18%-20% suffer from depression Parkinson's disease: 40% experience depression Multiple sclerosis: 40% experience depression Stroke: 10%-27% experience depression Cancer: 25% experience depression Diabetes : 25% experience depression Chronic pain syndrome : 30% -54% experience depression

4. How to deal with depression

Early diagnosis and treatment of depression can reduce suffering along with the risk of serious complications and suicide. Treating depression can improve your overall medical condition and quality of life.
When symptoms of depression are related to a physical illness or a side effect of medication, your doctor may need to adjust or change your treatment. When depression is a separate problem, it can be treated on its own. More than 80% of people with depression can be successfully treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Antidepressants usually work within a few weeks.
Life associated with a chronic illness is challenging, and grief and despair are understandable emotions when you have the condition. But if these feelings don't go away, or you have trouble sleeping or eating, or you've lost interest in activities you normally enjoy, you should seek help.
Accordingly, to avoid contracting depression, you need to:
Try not to isolate yourself. Reach out to family and friends. Learn as much as you can about your condition to help you take control of yourself Make sure you get medical support from professionals you trust and can talk openly about your questions and your concerns. If you suspect that a medication you're taking is making your condition worse, talk to your doctor about other possible treatments. If you feel pain, talk to your doctor. Do the things you love as much as possible. You will stay connected as well as boost your confidence and sense of community. If you think you have depression, don't wait to get help. You need to actively seek the help of therapists or counselors you trust. When suffering from a chronic disease, most patients have anxiety and fear, so depression is very likely to happen. At this time, psychotherapy will be able to effectively improve the disease.
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Reference source: webmd.com

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