How To Overcome The Stigma Of Chronic Illness – Part 2

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By Dr. Craig A. Maxwell

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

seniorjogger5. Redefine Your “New Normal”

For most of us, change is not easy. This goes double for those who would be classified as a “Type A” personality. Remember, you’re not a superhero. You need rest to recharge your batteries so you can experience deep healing. Redefining your new normal will help you get some perspective on your own personal expectations while helping you explain your needs more clearly to others.

6. Get in Touch with Your Spiritual Side

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may have more down time than usual. This is an ideal time to get reacquainted with or develop your spiritual side. Taking comfort in your faith can help reduce the emotional and physical burden of a chronic illness.

7. Never Give Up

This is an important one. Even if you’ve been told your condition is irreversible and/or incurable, never give up. Plenty of people with chronic illness have gone from being wheelchair or bed-bound to living healthy, productive lives. Case in point, Dr. Terry Wahls, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, healed her disorder through dietary changes, supplements, and functional medicine despite being told she’d never walk again.

8. Keep Doing Independent Research

The Internet offers thousands of websites and forums dedicated to chronic illness and disease. Becoming your own best health advocate can help you feel more in control of your situation. Just be sure your research is done on reputable websites that aren’t just out to sell you a product.

9. Seek the Help of a Therapist

Patients with chronic illness often feel ashamed about their condition and unsupported due to social stigma. A therapist can offer a productive outlet for these feelings. Clinical therapists are trained to spot the symptoms of hypochondria versus real clinical illness, which can make them ideal advocates for patients whose doctors may have doubts about their condition.

10. Consult with Open-Minded Medical Experts

When a suffering patient turns to a doctor, the expectation is that they will be treated with kindness, compassion, and most important of all, belief. If your doctor is impatient, obviously frustrated, or has suggested you’re making up your symptoms, the relationship isn’t a good fit. Getting a second opinion from an open-minded medical expert can help you finally get the clinical support you need.

No matter how long you’ve been struggling with chronic illness, these tips can help you regain a feeling of control and empowerment you may have lost somewhere along the way.

– Dr. Craig A. Maxwell is a board-certified osteopathic physician based in Ohio. He has been successfully treating patients with difficult-to-treat disorders and chronic illness for the past 30 years. He is available for personalized telephone consultations wherever you are in the world. For more information, visit