Stress from Chronic and Terminal Illness

Terminal Illness StressLiving with a chronic illness or life threatening disease turns your life upside down.  A serious illness limits your abilities and your lifestyle. It interferes with your relationships, hopes for the future and the activities that you love to do. In the process, there are many fears that arise and losses that you sustain. It becomes hard to make decisions. Managing yourself day-to-day can be quite demanding and exhausting. The stress and strain reactions that you suffer can trigger your physical symptoms to flare-up and get worse. Depression can easily set in.

As you know, physical problems affect you psychologically. And, in turn, psychological worries and disturbance impacts and exacerbates your physical symptoms. If you’re not feeling well physically, you probably aren’t doing well psychologically. And vice-versa.

Your body, mind and emotions are connected to one another. They affect one another in positive and negative ways. When your attitude is more upbeat, positive and optimistic, then your physical symptoms may decrease or become less noticeable. When your attitude becomes more depressed and pessimistic, you may feel more physical pain and your symptoms may increase and become more bothersome. The emotional and mental stress you feel impacts both your body and your mental state.

This stress and strain can become a frustrating and disabling cycle that painfully interrupts your life as well as the management of your illness and your relationships with your loved ones. And eventually there may come a time when you become depressed and your medicines cannot bring you the pain relief you desire.

That’s when it’s beneficial to seek psychological help with your stress so that you can learn how to control or decrease your physical, mental and emotional symptoms. You can get relief and manage your symptoms better if you get counseling from a professional who understands the disappointments and predicaments of a person suffering from a physical illness, complex medical treatment, and an uncertain future.

I help patients to identify the stressors in their life and then to create methods to reduce the stress. I also assist patients to get their priorities straight and to improve their relationships, communication and life perspective. Together, we review your past experiences and your critical judgments about those experiences. From this process, you may gain new perspective, correct distortions and negative conclusions or memories. You may then come to a sense of peace with your life and relationships. I also help patients to overcome depression and negative and fearful thoughts. I encourage them to reach out to others for support without feeling shame or embarrassment.

Facing these psychological realities helps you to: feel less depressed and more emotionally stable; sleep better; reduce anger, fear and worry; let go of regrets , guilt and shame; and feel less lonely. Through counseling, you may find more pleasure, gratitude and meaning in life. Your spiritual beliefs, practices and faith may become more clear and relevant. Your perspective on death can be faced more realistically and positively.

I have provided counseled to many cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses. Counseling assists you to come to terms with your life – past and future. It also can help you fight back better.  Relationships can improve and depression lifted.

Your loved ones can be included in this counseling process because they too are feeling stressed by your condition and the unknown future. Cancer counseling can help you and your loved ones to put your life and challenges into perspective. They deserve appreciate, attention and acknowledgement. If your loved ones get engaged in the counseling process with you, then they too can find more support, peace and relief. Participation in cancer counseling may also assist caregivers and family members to become more aware of how they might be contributing to your stress and then motivate them to change their attitude and behaviors.

Be sure to find an experienced therapist who understands and can work with the body-mind connection to help you have a better quality of life when they are sick. Your therapist should understand illness and disease and medical treatments and the significant impact they have on you and your loved ones.

You can benefit by finding a knowledgeable and supportive therapist who can help you face your dilemma and relieve your painful symptoms. Don’t allow the stressors to unnecessarily dominate your life. You can feel better and look toward a more positive and gratifying future.

Because you have an illness does not mean that you are doomed to misery.

If you suffer with a chronic or life threatening illness, get help to relieve your stress and discomfort.

Call Dr. Miller TODAY at 805-448-5053

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