Illness and Disability
Facing a Serious Diagnosis
Everything changes when you learn you have a life-threatening illness. Suddenly there is a “Before” – where you had a sense of the future and possibilities – and an “After” – where the future is murky. You perhaps, cried, sought the comfort of loved ones, or tried to distract yourself or pretend nothing had changed. Or maybe you froze, unable to fathom how your life suddenly changed out of all recognition. Or you jumped into action and started tackling your heath problem head-on.
Common emotional responses to serious illness include:
- Anger as you struggle to come to terms with your diagnosis, asking, “Why me?” or trying to understand if you’ve done something to deserve this.
- Feeling powerless, hopeless, or unable to look beyond the worst-case scenario.
- Denial that anything is wrong or refusing to accept the diagnosis.
- A sense of isolation, feeling cut off from friends and loved ones who can’t understand what you’re going through.
- Grieving the loss of your health and your old life.
- A loss of self – you feel you are no longer you but rather your medical condition.
And/or Facing Disability
The hard truth of becoming disabled is that, from the moment it happens everything about your life is going to be different. Some of the things you thought you would achieve in life may no longer be possible. But the worst thing you can do when attempting to cope with a disability is doing it all by yourself. Coping with limitations and overcoming new challenges is hard, and the emotional burden can feel lighter if you let others – friends, family, a counselor – help you carry it.
Counseling Can Make a Difference As You Move Forward
If you feel helpless, hopeless, or overly anxious, counseling can help you adjust to your new situation and find ways to live fully. I have been where you are, and I have walked this journey with countless others. Please reach out to me for a telephone or email consultation or to schedule a new appointment today.