Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can affect a person psychologically. The degree of impact is dependent on the persons history, environment, personality, and resilience. Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness. They can also be confusing causing a person to feel helpless, hopeless, and frustrated. Emotions may run especially high if the prognosis is uncertain. This stress may cause a person to lash out at family and friends, which can put strain on relationships.

Support structures play an important role on a person’s ability to cope, however a person will tend to go through various stages of dealing with the condition before they are able adjust to the realities of the chronic illness.

Often support people will offer to help in the beginning, and listen to the person suffering, but for some support people they may appear less interested, busy, or wanting reprieve themselves from the suffering, sometimes not able to cope themselves as they watch a loved one navigate their way through their illness.

When a person is diagnosed, they may feel they are on a roller coaster of emotions – feeling several emotions like the stages of grief -denial disbelief and shock.
Sadness and depression are common emotions when they realise, they may not achieve some of their chosen goals or dreams.

Others may feel guilt, wondering if they could have done something to prevent the illness or even anger that they made poor choices, knowingly.
Loosing independence may be a concern to some which becomes inevitable if an illness progresses. Emotions like fear and uncertainty will set in – as will uncertainty about the process and future.

All of this can overwhelm a person, eventually the person is exhausted, which delays rest and recovery.

Counselling can help a person to deal with the emotions relating to chronic illness and to cope with the stress and anxieties of the uncertainties surrounding your diagnosis and future.
It is a safe place to talk through the things that are worrying you – where you will be listened to carefully, without being judged, and given the space to make sense of what is happening, and the encouragement and support to find a way through.

If you would like one on one support from a counsellor go to our programmes page and book a consultation.

Reference: Nicole Chappell