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How to Manage Mental Health as a Chronic Illness Sufferer

Chronic illness and poor mental health are often linked. It makes sense - when a person is in constant pain, has restrained movements, or goes through a lifestyle change that’s very different to they are used to, they are likely to suffer mentally because of it. That doesn’t mean that all chronic illness sufferers are destined to have a mental illness, though. By learning how to manage your mental health, you can reduce your chances of receiving a mental illness diagnosis.

Look for Easy Health Management Solutions

As chronic illness links to mental health, you should make your health management as simple as possible. If your symptoms are better managed, you are less likely to succumb to stress, sadness, or feelings of hopelessness. For diabetics, an accurate glucose management device is the best way to monitor blood sugar levels with ease. Doing so will help you discover the best and worst foods for your illness. Whatever chronic illness you are suffering from, there are always solutions to make managing it much simpler.

Speak to a Counselor

Even if you don’t believe you have a mental illness, a counselor is a good person to reach out to. You can talk through your feelings about the illness itself, your relationships, or whatever else is on your mind that day. It’s a healthy way to process your thoughts, and if you suffer from a mental health problem, your counselor will be able to help you work through that.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air

Fresh air helps free the mind of stress - crucial for those wanting to keep their mental health in check. If your chronic illness prevents you from venturing out too far, then a simple walk around your garden can be enough to help you feel better.

Talk to Others with Chronic Illness

Sometimes the best thing for your mental health is talking to others who can relate to your problems. While your loved ones will want to help, they won’t always fully understand, and that can become frustrating. Have a look around for communities of people with an illness similar to yourself, and you might make some new friends out of it.

Know the Warning Signs

Some people don’t know what to look out for when it comes to their mental health. As someone already at risk, it’s important you know when a sad day is more than just ordinary sadness, and that you might need additional professional help. Some common warning signs that stress is turning into a mental health problem include -

  • Not going outside

  • Shutting out friends and family

  • A loss of interest in usually loved hobbies

  • Sudden weight gain or loss

Treat Yourself Kindly

It’s easy to treat others kindly, but what about yourself? You are a person worthy and deserving of love, care, and attention, not just from your friends and family, but from yourself, too. The next time you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or sad, give yourself a break and treat yourself how you would treat a friend in that situation. Remember - your own compassion can be extended to yourself.

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