Chronic mental illness definition
Chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, may likely develop a mental health condition. It is widespread to feel discouraged and sad after having a cancer diagnosis or heart attack and when trying to manage a chronic disease such as severe pain. You may be facing new limits on what you can do or may feel concerned or stressed about the treatment outcomes and future.
It can be pretty challenging to adapt to the new reality or cope with the changes and ongoing treatment that comes with the diagnosis. Activities including gardening or hiking may become harder. A temporary feeling of worry is expected, but if these and other symptoms last more than weeks, you may have depression.
It may affect your ability to carry on with the routine activity or enjoy with family, work, leisure, and friends. Your health affects of stress go beyond mood.
Overview of chronic disease or condition
A health condition that requires medical attention or starts restricting an individual’s life for at least one year is considered a chronic condition or disease. These conditions are most common in the United States that include but are not limited to strokes, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
Out of all health illnesses in the USA, chronic diseases are the most costly, prevalent, or responsible for seven out of ten deaths in the United States. They can result from risk factors, including family history, age, poor eating habits, substance use, etc.
Chronic illnesses may include arthritis, Alzheimer’s, chronic kidney disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, fibromyalgia, obesity, traumatic brain injury, or stroke.
Chronic illness and depression
Mental stress is one of the most common complications of chronic disease. It is analyzed that approximately one-third of individuals with severe medical illnesses have symptoms of anxiety and depression.
An individual who suffers from chronic illnesses must adjust to both the disease and its treatment. Chronic infection may affect an individual’s mobility and independence and change how you live. These life changes can be stressful and may cause a certain sadness, which is normal.
In rare cases, suffering from a chronic disease can trigger what is known as clinically significant depression, which is itself a potentially severe but treatable condition. The professional and the patient may decide whether the symptoms of mental illness are just a normal reaction to the stress of having a chronic medical disease. But, they are so intense or disabling that it requires additional treatment with an antidepressant.
About one-third of people diagnosed with a severe life-changing chronic illness may experience symptoms of depression. After analyzing a severe disease, feelings of repair and sadness are normal. But, if it persists, treatment may include therapy and medication.
Adolescents and children with chronic illnesses
Adolescents and children with severe chronic disease often face more challenges than healthy peers in navigating adolescents. Severe chronic illness can affect cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development or take a toll on siblings and parents. These limitations can put adolescents and children at risk of developing a mental condition more than their healthy peers.
Children with chronic diseases may experience many forms of stress and worry. Health care providers and parents should know on the lookout for symptoms of anxiety and depression in young people and their families.
Psychological effects of chronic illness
Living with a chronic condition can affect you both mentally and physically. The effect it can take on your body is bound to interfere with your ability to cope with emotional and psychological stress. Chronic conditions make performing activities difficult and rob your sense of hope for the future.
The diagnosis of a chronic illness produces many extreme and long-lasting feelings from fear of guilt and exhaustion because of demands made on friends and family. Sadness and frustration are also ordinary when you realize the life you once knew is highly different.
Living with a chronic illness
Chronic conditions and mental illnesses, when left untreated, can be draining on the people living with the disease, coworkers, families, and communities. The chronic condition is a full-time job that takes effort and willingness to change the daily routine.
Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be disorienting and frightening. Once you move beyond the shock of diagnosis, it is helpful to know how to cope with the daily stress of life with your illness.
Living with a chronic disease can make you particularly vulnerable. In addition to everyday life challenges that some people face, it adds new layers of stress and worry. For instance, you may need to:
- manage increased financial pressure
- take steps to manage your condition
- cope with discomfort from the symptoms
- adjust new limitations that your state puts on your life
You can take several steps to level up your quality of life and reduce the challenges of living with a chronic illness.
What are the treatment options to cope with chronic conditions with mental illness?
These conditions can bring on bouts of depression, which get in the way of successful treatment of the disease. Coping with a chronic illness is a challenge, and it is normal to feel sad and grief as you come to grips with your conditions and the implications. But, if these feelings do not fade away, it can interfere in routine activity such as trouble sleeping or losing interest in the activities you usually enjoy.
To avid mental illness:
- You can try to isolate or reach friends and family. If you do not have a support system, take steps to build one. Ask your therapist about the community resources and support groups.
- Ensure that you have the medical support of the professionals you trust and can talk to them openly about your concerns.
- Consult your health care professional about the pain management
- If you suspect that your treatment is bringing you down, consult your pharmacist about other possible medicines.
Living with mental illness and chronic conditions can be stressful, but you can take several steps to manage the requirements and maintain a good quality of life. Try to learn about the illness and the treatment needs. You are being proactive about the treatment plan and leading a healthy life.
Make time for things or activities that leave you feeling supported and happier while avoiding people and situations that can stress you out.