We’re still stuck in winter and, while I’d like to think spring is right around the corner, the short days and cold weather make it difficult to believe. That’s especially true if the combined effects of winter and illness mean you’re stuck inside and spring won’t bring that much more joy. But did you know that if you’re sick and lonely, it’s quite possible you’re making your illness worse?
Self-Blame Worsens Illness, Causes Isolation
Learning that you have a chronic illness or injury and having to deal with it is an extremely difficult process. It’s hard to hear you’re sick and might have to live the rest of your life in pain or with constant struggle. What’s worse is that many victims of illness blame themselves.
Self-blame is very complicated. In today’s media, so much health advice talks about how your overall health is tied to your personal decisions. Some of it can be true, while some of it is straight malarkey. Preventative measures may help, but they don’t guarantee anything; illness can strike anyone at any time.
If you’re sick, one of the most important things you can do for your future is to stay connected to the world around you. Isolation is very dangerous. Yes, it may take some time to cope and come to terms with your diagnosis, but realizing that your life is still in your hands can help make you feel better and may even help you fight the symptoms of your condition. Staying connected to the people you love and the things you enjoy is essential to moving forward.
Loneliness a Side Effect of Chronic Health Problems?
In fact, new research has shown that feelings of loneliness rise after the onset of chronic health problems in people over 70 years old. And even if an ill individual has a partner—even for more than 50 years—they still feel isolated and lonely. This can create a downward spiral that can make matters worse.
If you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition, it’s important to be proactive about maintaining relationships, being open with others, having a positive mindset, and doing your best to live a happy and fulfilling life. In addition to keeping regular contact with friends and family, joining a support group with people who are living with a similar condition is also very beneficial. These groups can put you in contact with people who have an understanding of what you’re living with, while also providing the opportunity to socialize and make new friends.
Your mood and outlook play a big role in your health. Staying motivated and realizing your own capabilities can push the pain aside and allow you to feel good, live well, and continue living the life you want. And having good company is one surefire way to do just that.
Also Read :
- These New Health Guidelines Sound a Lot Like the Advice We’ve Been Giving You
- How to Cut Your Diabetes Risk by 80%
- How Lifestyle Interventions Can Help Control Chronic Disease
Sources for Today’s Article:
Preidt, R., “Chronic Illness, Loneliness May Go Hand-in-Hand for Some Elderly,” MedlinePlus web site, February 16, 2015; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_150985.html.
Gadalla, T., “Association of comorbid mood disorders and chronic illness with disability and quality of life in Ontario, Canada,” Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada 2008; 28(4): 148–54.