Chronic Illness And Mental Health

Mental health days are chances to take care of our emotional and physical needs and take a break from life’s stressors. When you have a  chronic illness these days are so important!

It can be helpful to think about stress as contained in a bucket and there are various ways to drain that stress. When our bucket gets too full, we need to make a concerted effort to drain some of the stress and take care of our mental health before we suffer the consequences.It is also important to keep things balanced.

We experience various emotions throughout our lives and even throughout the day. It’s important to understand that there are no “bad” emotions. They all serve a purpose in our life. The challenge is when certain emotions become unbalanced that is; they’re occurring too often or too intensely at uncontrollable moments, which also happens more often when our stress bucket is too full.

We often consider emotional and mental health as separate from physical health but they are firmly intertwined. As a result, meeting physical health needs also results in improved mental health.

For example, being physically inactive, eating an unhealthy diet, and sleeping poorly will not only impact us physically but will sap us of our energy. These key pillars of health also build the foundation for our mental health.

Engaging in physical, as well as pleasant activities, has been found to be an effective standalone treatment for depression. We also know that improving sleep quantity and quality can reduce irritability, depression and anxiety. Both physical activities and good sleep can be difficult with chronic illnesses and each needs to be addressed.

Your doctors can help you with physical therapy, and find ways to help you get restful sleep, but you won’t get help if you dont ask you need to advocate for your own health advocate for your own health so you don’t end up having a nervous breakdown.

Nervous breakdown isn’t a medical term, nor does it indicate a specific mental illness. But that doesn’t mean it’s a normal or a healthy response to stress. What some people call a nervous breakdown may indicate an underlying mental health problem that needs attention, such as depression or anxiety.

Signs of a so-called nervous breakdown vary from person to person and depend on the underlying cause. Exactly what constitutes a nervous breakdown also varies from one culture to another. Generally, it’s understood to mean that a person is no longer able to function normally. For example, someone struggling may:

  • Call in sick to work for days or longer
  • Avoid social engagements and miss appointments
  • Have trouble following healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and
  • A number of other unusual or dysfunctional behaviors may be considered signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown.

Having a chronic illness is hard enough, and staying on top of your mental health is very difficult, but our mental health can also affect our physical health! Sometimes those who suffer from chronic illnesses, not all but doctors try to use mental health as to why it’s difficult to heal.. Many times I was told ” it’s in your head”, until I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, MS, and early onset rheumatoid arthritis. “Well we’re still worried about you, you seem to be in to much pain”. So I am very experienced with the mental health aspect of healthcare and made sure I got educated to show myself that I did care enough about myself and was able to talk to my doctors.

There are many steps we can take to manage our emotions and keep them balanced. However, when we find that engaging in our own self-care is not enough or becomes too difficult to do on our own and especially when our relationships, work, school or other responsibilities suffer, this may be a sign to seek professional help.

I know the personal struggles of having a chronic illness and the last thing I want is to have to go to a doctor for help, but when it comes to my mental health… I always take care of it!

My articles are about life experiences, education and as a life care counselor, I want you to make sure you understand, your mental health is just a important as your physical and depression is a real disease that needs to be treated by a QUALIFIED individual, because not all depression needs medication, because medication changes your chemistry in your body and can have numerous side effects!


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