Home Health Chronic Illness and Mental Health: How They Relate and How to Get Through It
chronic illness and mental health

Chronic Illness and Mental Health: How They Relate and How to Get Through It

by Martha Simmonds
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Physical health is one of our most valued assets. For sure, you have heard of the phrase “health is wealth.” But it’s not just physical health people should be concerned with. Mental health is equally as impactful as physical health. Moreover, both could go hand in hand and can negatively impact an individual daily.

Perhaps this worsens if one endures this over a long time. Chronic illnesses can be complicated, and mental health problems can cause difficulties for the sufferer. Here’s a connection between chronic and mental illnesses and how people can live through them as best as possible.

Chronic Illnesses

A chronic illness refers to an illness that typically stretches for the long term and extends to over a year or more. Such illnesses are not commonly curable but can be treated to lessen symptoms, preventing them from worsening. Some known chronic illnesses include diabetes, asthma, stroke, and cancer.

You might know or have known someone with a chronic illness. 51.8% of adults in the US alone have at least one chronic illness, with 27.2% having more than one. With these statistics, you most likely know someone or their loved ones suffering from any chronic illness. Even celebrities you may know, like Tom Hanks and Selena Gomez revealed they struggle with their illnesses. 

They are acquired in different ways, the leading cause being poor nutrition and lifestyle, and they can also be acquired through genetics. A family history of chronic disease can put them at risk even when one is usually healthy.

If you or anyone you know suspects having distinctive symptoms of chronic illness, see your physician and take tests if you are encouraged to.

Mental Health Conditions

The World Health Organization defines mental health as an individual’s well-being that allows them to cope with stress, learn, and perform well. One’s mental health relies on emotional skills, environment, and genetics.

Good situations generally produce good mental health, and bad situations produce bad mental health. We can all have our bad mental health days, but there are cases where terrible mental health can escalate to a full-blown mental illness, which can persist for extended periods and make everything in a person’s life worse.

There are different kinds of mental illness, each affecting people in various ways. Such impacts can range from having depressed moods to even dysfunction in doing the simplest tasks. And undeniably, the worst that could happen is dying by suicide, which is one of the leading causes of death in the US.

The Relationship Between Chronic Illnesses and Mental Health

Having a chronic illness does not necessarily lead to mental health problems. However, people who have chronic illnesses are at risk for developing mental illnesses. One of the most common mental illnesses is depression, affecting 7.1% of American adults.  Among people with chronic illnesses, it plagues 25% of cancer patients, 10-27% of post-stroke patients, and ⅓ of diabetes patients.

Physical illnesses that last long-term are no joke. The pains one has to endure can severely affect their everyday life, like house chores, work, and even relationships with other people. Even the treatment that comes with it, especially with side effects that can affect or even alter the body can affect one’s mental state. This can lead to feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessnes,  and hopelessness. 

Such feelings are expected from time to time, but when it persists for an abnormally long time, it can be a sign of mental illness, and when left unchecked or untreated, it can worsen one’s well-being.

How to Look After Mental Health as a Chronic Illness Patient

If you or somebody you know has a chronic illness and may have or has a mental illness, the following are some of the things you can do.

Take Care of Your Physical Health. One can start protecting your mental health by taking care of themselves physically. One of the effects bad mental health can have on a person is forgetting self-care. One may not do even the most basic tasks like bathing or eating. As much as possible, stick to your routine religiously. If your loved one has such an experience, assist them as much as possible.

Do Consistent Medical Care. It is crucial to keep up with the checkups, treatments, or medication. Mental illnesses can cause people to stray from their routines, including their usual treatments and medications for other illnesses. With this, it would help to keep getting in touch with the physician and keep budgeting expenses for the treatments and medicines needed. 

If you want to save money, you can seek cheaper options or use coupons for medicines. Medicines can cost a lot, especially prescription ones, so coupons are convenient. You can get a coupon through prescription discount sites that could give you reasonable deductions on your medication. These sites cover a good number of prescription drugs, so if you are looking for something specific like a Methylprednisolone Coupon, they most likely have it.

Seek Mental Health Professionals as Soon as Possible. If you or your ill loved one has had something else going on besides the chronic illness, like showing signs of mental illness, seek help immediately. If you or your loved one have been unusually depressed, anxious, and more for a while, it will help to talk to a licensed psychologist. Therapy sessions can help with reducing all the stress and terrible feelings caused by bad mental health.

To Conclude

Chronic and mental illnesses combined can be too burdensome for people to bear. With proper medical and psychological care, and the support from loved ones, the mental and emotional troubles we might face from time to time can always be triumphed over.

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