7 Mistakes People Who Are Chronically Ill Often Make

August 22, 2019

Adjusting to life with a chronic illness definitely isn’t easy. There are things you have to learn about yourself, many of which will be unique to you alone. As you live with your condition every day, it will become a part of who you are. Eventually, you will know exactly what to expect from life, as well as the best ways to care for yourself. Until that time comes, however, life will involve a lot of trial and error. While there are many blunders to be made, you can avoid some of the bumps in the learning process. With that in mind, here are seven mistakes you shouldn’t make. 

1. Accepting The First Opinion
Asking for more than one perspective on your condition is critical to ensuring that you’re getting the right care. Even after so many years at school, doctors are human too. They forget things, make mistakes, and sometimes, just aren’t good at their job. If you don’t like your doctor or don’t agree with them, then don’t be afraid to look for a new one. Many people living with a chronic illness go through several different doctors before they find one that they truly click with. 

2. Resisting Your New Diagnosis
Being unhappy with your care and being unhappy with your diagnosis are two very different things. Getting diagnosed with any disease or condition is hard and often life-changing. However, when you fight against your diagnosis, it doesn’t do you any good. If every doctor is telling you the same thing, then you eventually have to accept it. When you work with your condition, rather than against it, and accept the circumstances at hand, you can manage your health more effectively. 

3. Sticking With Ineffective Treatments
Every person on this planet is unique in their own way. While there is a lot of information out there on what’s healthy and unhealthy for a person, you know your body best. No matter how well a treatment is supposed to work, you shouldn’t continue with it if it makes you feel worse. You are the one feeling the pain and experiencing all of the other symptoms, so you know deep down if a treatment is bad. Your body will tell you if something isn’t right; you just need to listen.

4. Deciding To Self-Medicate
People facing a chronic illness shouldn’t have to deal with endless pain. However, that doesn’t mean you should begin self-medicating either. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs as a method of pain management will likely only make your symptoms worse. It can also result in addiction, requiring you to go to treatment, like an inpatient drug rehab. Until you have a diagnosis and treatment plan for your chronic illness, you should work on cultivating a healthier lifestyle. 

5. Focusing On The Body
Caring for your physical health can feel much easier than caring for your mental health. However, that doesn’t mean that one is more important than the other. Your mental health needs just as much love and attention as your physical body does. When trying to treat any condition, you have to treat the entire self. A healthy diet and the right supplements can do you a world of good, but you must find ways to eliminate stress from your life and improve your mood too. 

6. Skipping Your Own Research
Doctors don’t know everything, despite what they might say. As tempting as it can be to leave all of the medical stuff to an expert, you must put the work in too. Your health is your responsibility, after all. By all means, find a good doctor and work with them, but you should also do your own research. Learn as much as you can about your condition by reading books, joining forums, and looking online. You must also come to doctor’s appointments prepared with a list of questions.

7. Forgetting To Enjoy Life
When chronic illness is getting you down, it’s easy to imagine how perfect your life would be if you weren’t sick. Far too often, those living with a chronic illness put their entire life on hold and make huge sacrifices to make healthy choices. However, it’s important to remember that enjoying life is a critical part of healing. If you’re making yourself miserable to try and be happy, you’re missing the point entirely. Enjoy what you have now, or you’re going to miss it tomorrow. 

Living with a chronic illness can be tough, but avoiding the mistakes above will make life a little easier. 

*contributed post*

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