Redefine and Reclaim Yourself
Counseling can help a person deal with the emotions relating to chronic illness and cope with the stress and anxieties of accepting and coping with life changes. It will help to regain personal control over life and yourself.
Chronic illness has the ability to affect you in more ways than just medically. In fact, it can impact you psychologically. The degree of impact is dependent on the person’s personality and the circumstances before the diagnosis. Support structure plays an important role on a person’s ability to cope, but oftentimes, a person has to go through various stages of dealing with the condition before they are able to adjust to the realities of the chronic illness.
When a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness, he or she will go through a number of stages similar to the stages of grief. Denial, disbelief and shock are just some of the emotions a person experiences when a diagnosis is made, and it’s natural for them to resist major changes. Eventually, they will become exhausted, when all they really want to do is to recover. At that point, fear and anxiety will set in and worry in the face of uncertainty of the future.
Sadness, grief and depression are common emotions when they consider the possibility of lost goals, hopes and dreams. Losing independence is a real fear, which becomes inevitable if an illness progresses and that brings about the fear of being a burden to loved ones, which brings on more anger, resentment and even shame
Counselling for chronic illness can help you understand and effectively communicate your needs and boundaries. When you are able to grieve the losses you have experienced in a healthy way, you can move forward and take back that sense of self that has felt so lost since being diagnosed. The process will help you to open up to the many ways in which you can stay involved and connected in your life.
The fact that you may benefit from counseling doesn’t invalidate the reality of your condition. It shows your willingness to acknowledge that your illness affects and impacts your life. Counseling for chronic illness is about finding coping strategies that work for you to address the loss you are feeling so that you can learn how to redefine yourself and feel empowered.