Whether you’ve always tried to live a healthy lifestyle or your health wasn’t much of a priority, finding out that you have a serious medical condition can be devastating. This devastation is taken to a whole new level when the diagnosis is something that cannot be treated or will likely result in a shorter life. You start thinking about everything from your family and friends to the treatments and how your life will be going forward.
Most people when told they have things like diabetes, heart disease, lupus, or heart disease, are plagued by a plethora of emotions ranging from disbelief and confusion to anger and sadness. If not dealt with properly, it can lead to a worsening of their health among other things.
They often turn to negative coping mechanisms like unhealthy foods, shopping, gambling, drugs, and alcohol and develop an addiction on top of their existing health problems. To dig themselves out, they not only have to learn how to manage their condition but will have to go to a doctor, counselor, or a drug and alcohol detox treatment center.
Better Ways to Cope
To be completely fine after getting serious medical news would be insane. You’re going to have a lot of emotions. The trick, however, is to know how to manage your emotions so they don’t manage you and control your life. While it can take time to come to terms with your “new normal”, it is possible to find the strength to get through. Below is a list of better ways to cope:
Allow Yourself to Feel
You might be trying to be tough for loved ones or feel that expressing your emotions makes you weak. However, holding them in can do more harm than good. Allow yourself to go through whatever emotions you’re experiencing without the guilt. If you wake up the next day and you’re mad or sad, that’s perfectly normal. Just do so constructively. Write it down, punch a pillow, or hug a pillow and cry, You may find that eventually, those negative emotions are the foundation that drives you to do more to improve your health.
Preserve Your Energy
Once you’re at a point that you’re ready to share your difficult news with friends and relatives things can get tricky. Though they’re trying to help and mean well, often their well wishes, words of encouragement, overwhelming emotions, and extra involvement in your life can drain your energy and put you in a negative space. You can protect your energy by only telling those you can truly trust and by being able to speak up when they’re crossing the line or putting you in a bad space.
Knowledge is power. The more you know about your condition, the easier it is for you to make changes that can worsen the symptoms or even treat it completely. There are new holistic and experimental treatments being developed every day to try and cure or reduce the symptoms of life-changing diseases. So, be encouraged by this information. Talk with your doctor, consider visiting a medical specialist, and even do some research on your own to learn exactly what your condition is and how you can best live with it.
Talk to a Professional
Throughout this journey, you are bound to go through some emotional ups and downs. If you don’t feel that you can handle your emotions on your own, it could be beneficial to talk to a professional. A therapist can help you to eliminate or reduce the negative thoughts and find a positive outlook and/or come to terms with your diagnosis. If one-on-one therapy isn’t for you, there are also support groups or group therapy options where you can go and speak about your journey with others going through similar circumstances.
Take Care of Your Health
Though it can seem pointless to care about your diet, how much you’re exercising, or the amount of sleep you’re getting each day, it’s quite the opposite. The less you care for your health the worse your symptoms become making life less enjoyable all around.
Hearing that you have a serious medical condition can turn your world upside down. Though it may seem like your life is over it is important not to stay in this headspace. Allow yourself to go through your emotions and then start picking up the pieces and learn how to live the best life you can despite your condition.