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Being diagnosed with a long-term disease raises many questions and concerns. With the diagnosis comes information about a chronic and often progressive disease that may lead to significant complications. Treatment may be possible and even successful, but it can be cumbersome and may lead to significant side effects. Yet, concerns about log-term disease go beyond medical questions about the disease and its treatment. Such a diagnosis can cause patients to feel alone, isolated, and rejected from their much-needed social support system.

Long-term illnesses are frequently associated with mental health issues. Because mental health affects every part of life, it is important to understand the many ways mind and body work together in people with long-term disease. We know that mental health conditions such as depression may occur along with physical symptoms and difficulties in daily functioning, ability to follow treatment directions, and quality of life. Furthermore, until recently, people with mental illness were often discouraged from seeking treatment for their disease for fear of making their mental health problems worse.

These issues, and many others, fall under the broad category of mental aspects of illness. It’s important to recognize that such issues can have a very real effect on your health. Acknowledging the mental aspects of your illness and taking control of them can be a significant step in your journey.

Accepting that you are on a journey is the first part to healing the mental virus that comes with those frightening words echoing in your head.

Read More: Well-Being & Long-Term Disease