Navigating the emotional toll of chronic illness can complicate a seemingly simple question: “How are you feeling today?”
For individuals with autoimmune diseases or chronic illnesses, the answer may be far from straightforward. Despite moments of feeling good, a lingering cloud often dampens even the best days since the diagnosis.
Receiving a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder or chronic illness can be life-altering. It can reshape the activities once enjoyed, often transforming them into burdensome tasks. Activities like swimming, hiking, painting, gardening, or just spending time with friends and family may now pose challenges due to the diagnosis.
Amidst these changes, it’s normal to experience varying levels of sadness, anxiety, or negative mood shifts. Temporary feelings of sadness are expected, as stated by the National Institute of Mental Health.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that these emotions should only be temporary.
If feelings of depression, anxiety, or overall negativity persist beyond a few weeks, it may be necessary to seek support from a healthcare provider.
People living with chronic diseases or illnesses face an elevated risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. On top of physical symptoms caused by their conditions, depression can introduce additional challenges, such as feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, worsening symptoms, self-harm thoughts, and suicidal ideation.
If any of these symptoms resonate with you, it’s essential to reach out to a healthcare provider immediately. Depression and anxiety are manageable conditions, whether through medication or lifestyle changes.
Infusion therapies may offer a potential avenue for alleviating mental health issues by enabling patients to manage their chronic disease symptoms. These therapies are often highly effective, providing symptom management and fostering a sense of restored health and hope.
Consequently, patients can regain some aspects of their quality of life. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, gardening, or painting, these treatment options can reintroduce normalcy and help alleviate the psychological hardships of a long-term diagnosis.
A collaborative care approach, encompassing both mental and physical health care, can significantly enhance overall well-being. Research demonstrates that treating depression and chronic illness concurrently improves management of both conditions.
Understanding the importance of this holistic approach, Palmetto Infusion offers complimentary patient advocacy services to all patients. If you are currently a patient of Palmetto Infusion who would like to access this service, please contact Patient Advocate Chrissie Jenkins at 843-314-5908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In cases of immediate distress or thoughts of self-harm, it’s crucial to seek immediate help. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-8255. Alternatively, you can text the Crisis
Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or utilize the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
This blog was authored by Palmetto Infusion Nurse Clinician Tim Courtney, RN, BSN.