A chronic illness is an affliction in which many areas of life are affected. "In the United States, nearly one third of the population experiences severe chronic pain at some point in life. It is currently the most common cause of long-term disability, partially or totally disabling upwards of 50 million people,". It is naive to think that those affected by chronic pain only suffer physiologically. There are many factors to consider when a person is diagnosed with a disorder that entails long-term symptoms. Physical ailments affect the mental and emotional state, which translate into affecting loved ones' lives. Diseases are never welcomed, due to the inevitable suffering and alteration of lives. Patients experience new priorities, such as actively addressing their heath. Despite the justified excuse, the end result of the previous lifestyle still must be upheld. It is now up to the surrounding support group to fulfill the outstanding responsibilities. Disease affects many areas of life other than the patient's apparent physical health.
[...] Under proper care and supervision, affected children can usually participate in the same activities as those without illness. Teenagers experience more difficulty with gracefully accepting the alterations of life that a disease requires. “Adolescence is a unique developmental time characterized by emerging independence, rapid cognitive and physical growth, and the development of an identity,” (http://xpedio02.childrenshc.org/stellent/groups/public/@xcp/@web/@mentalhea lth/documents/policyreferenceprocedure/web010839.asp). Adolescents' social needs grow particularly important. This priority does not coincide beautifully with the typical “complex medical treatments” and the repetitive doctor visits (http://xpedio02.childrenshc.org/stellent/groups/public/@xcp/@web/@mentalhea lth/documents/policyreferenceprocedure/web010839.asp). [...]
[...] Support groups for individuals, other than the patient, affected by a loved ones' chronic illness can be located through the help of most major hospitals and clinics. Seeking help should not be viewed as a sign of personal weakness. The end goal of dealing with a chronic illness in the family is for everyone involved to maintain a good quality of life, despite the obstacles challenging that goal. Another area that a support group should acknowledge and target is stress. [...]
[...] Because chronic illness implies experiencing symptoms on a long-term basis, it is well justified that the patient becomes knowledgeable about what he or she is experiencing. Sharma finally advises the patient to “take pride in what can accomplish[ed] today, and don't shame over what can't [be accomplished],” (http://www.mindpub.com/art496.htm). Although focusing on the patients' past capabilities is tempting and easy, he or she is discouraged from dwelling on the potential that no longer exists. Although the patient's present circumstances are not what they previously, the situation is also not as dire as it could be. [...]
[...] LeMaistre suggests that first perspective views the chronically ill person as a failure,” (After the Diagnosis). This is a valid statement, considering that a disease is an overwhelming experience that will inevitably lead to the dependence on others and the adaptation of a lifestyle, most likely limiting the individual. Presented with the knowledge of an unforeseen disease, the individual can become overwhelmed, leading the afflicted to experience an easily acquired emotion: depression. “Illness is an emotionally as well as physically depriving experience. [...]
[...] Sharma first suggest that the patient should realize the reality of the illness and accept it as a part of their new lifestyle. “That word, ‘acceptance,' gets under the skin of people who are still mourning the loss of better, happier days when were far more capable to doing things. Those who make an effort to adapt to their circumstance understand the value of acceptance. They know it helps them to get over loss and meet the new challenges they (http://www.mindpub.com/art496.htm). [...]
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