When chronic illness comes into play, depression can really be hard to shake and in fact, it can become worse. Did you know that depression is one of the most common complications of those who suffer from chronic illnesses?
It's important to recognize the symptoms and be properly treated. Living and coping with a chronic illness is extremely challenging all by itself. Periods of sadness and grief are to be expected, but if they persist, you need to seek help.
*loss of appetite * fatigue *restlessness
*mood swings *loss of interest *withdrawal *unexplained pains
Some tips to help you cope with chronic illness and avoid depression:
- Try not to isolate yourself. Reach out to family and friends. If you don’t have a solid support system, take steps to build one. Ask your physician or therapist for referrals to a support group and other community resources.
- Learn as much as you can about your condition. Knowledge is power when it comes to getting the best treatment available, and maintaining a sense of autonomy and control.
- Make sure that you have medical support from experts you trust, and can talk to openly about your ongoing questions and concerns.
- If you suspect that your medication is causing you to be depressed, consult your doctor about alternative treatments.
- If you are in chronic pain, talk with your physician about alternative pain management.
- As much as is possible, remain engaged in the activities you enjoy. Doing so will keep you connected, as well as boosting your self-confidence and sense of community.
- If you become depressed, don’t wait too long before seeking help. Find a therapist or counselor whom you trust.
Everyone will deal with some form of depression in their life, the key is to acknowledge it, before it consumes you. If you are already consumed, by depression, please seek help. There are ways to help you cope and manage this. Try not to focus on the illness you have, but the person you are. A diagnoses, does not have to label you. It does limit you. It does not mean you can't beat the odds!
Growing up, I saw first hand, what depression can do to someone. A once vibrant mother, transforming into a bitter and angry beast. My mother had fallen into the trap and was consumed by a monster, called depression. To this day, she lives in that pit. It has become her normal. Many have tried to reach out to her, but unless she extends a hand back, I don't know what to do for her.
Seeing my mother, I was determined to break the cycle. I fight a constant battle, between the need to fight, and the desire to fall and give up. But I refuse to let my chronic "illness" be my life. I focus on WHO I am, not WHAT I am.
I know it's hard. I know having a chronic illness sucks.....but what are you going to about it? The only thing we have the power to change, is how we deal with it. And you know what? I'm not about to roll over and die. No way! I am in the ring, with my gloves on and will fight till that last bell rings.
For those that want to talk, I'm here. I'm a friend and will listen.
I'm reaching out. Please reach back.