How to support yourself if you have a chronic medical condition

A long illness is, in addition to all the disadvantages, an opportunity to learn to empathize with yourself. But, unfortunately, when we feel bad, most often we choose to follow the path of self-criticism. For example, some people are ashamed of what happens to them, especially if doctors cannot find the cause of the disease.

Psychotherapist Seth Gillian has worked extensively with clients suffering from chronic conditions, but he was only able to truly understand them when he fell ill himself. For three years he went to the doctors, trying to understand what was wrong with him. As a result, Gillian was diagnosed with mold poisoning. Like many people with chronic illnesses, he had to significantly reduce his working hours, financial problems and uncertainty.

Jill Kanahan, an expert in functional medicine who specializes in finding and treating the causes of disease, has also gone through great trials – breast cancer, Crohn’s disease. This is what she advised in a conversation with Gillian to those who are faced with chronic diseases.

1) try to accept your life as it is now

With illness, life inevitably changes, but we continue to expect ourselves to cope with everything as well as before the illness. “The problem is the expectations that we set for ourselves, but at the same time we attribute to others. We demand from ourselves the ideal career, the ideal relationship and the ideal home – we set an unrealistically high bar for ourselves. “

Jill often hated herself for her problems and how the illness affected her family. Her anger at herself exacerbated her autoimmune diseases: “There is a link between self-loathing and autoimmune diseases. And this is logical – the body attacks itself, ”the expert notes. It took her over two years to accept and adjust to her limitations.

2. Remember: you are doing the best you can.

We often criticize ourselves for not getting well: as if we are doing something wrong, otherwise we would have already been cured. But with chronic diseases, this approach does not work. At one time, Kanahan thought that she would get better, as soon as she began to eat right, she associated any aggravation with the fact that she ate the “wrong” product. But no matter how she ate, every day she got better and worse.

In some cases, nutrition really strongly affects the well-being. But do not rush to blame yourself and your menu for everything. It sometimes takes years before doctors can determine the cause of the disease.

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