Often when we think of Parkinson’s disease, we think of the physical aspects of the disease including tremor, balance problems, and slowed movements. However, it is not uncommon for patients with Parkinson’s disease to experience changes in mood and/or thinking as the disease progresses.Read More
Generally speaking, a chronic illness is a disease or condition that is recurrent over varying amounts of time. Sometimes chronic illness persists and lasts for years, while other forms of chronic illness are intermittent and may be sporadic. Either way, chronic illness can be debilitating to a person’s physical, social, and psychological well-being.
Chronic illnesses are varied and may include conditions like diabetes, arthritis, depression, and cancer, among many others. In some cases, they represent the most common, costly, and preventable health problems in the United States. For example, did you know that in 2005 approximately 133 million people in the United States had a chronic illness?
Because chronic illnesses are so varied, their causes and symptoms can be very different. However, there may be several steps you can take to diminish your chances of getting a chronic illness and improving your overall health. Let’s review a few simple steps:
Exercise – Make sure you spend enough time exercising. This doesn’t mean you have to run 5 miles a day; instead, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or bike to work!
Eat better – We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat.” Try to incorporate a few healthy snacks to your diet. For example, grab an apple instead of chips for your afternoon snack.
Monitor substance use – It’s important to understand that smoking and drinking are both connected to chronic illness.
Get enough sleep – Sleeping allows your body and mind to recharge. Even if you can only go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, it’s worth it!
If you are struggling with a chronic illness, please consider consulting your doctor or searching our database of licensed psychologists to contact support.
Consider reviewing these additional resources about chronic illness:
Mental health can be severely impacted by chronic illness. From anxiety to depression, dealing with a chronic illness can take its toll on mental health. Those who experience mental health issues are not alone and, fortunately, there are resources available to those dealing with a chronic illness.Read More
Psychotherapy may be a solution to those who experience tinnitus, a condition that causes an individual to hear a ringing or roaring sound. An article released by NPR mentions that while tinnitus may be a simple annoyance to some individuals, it can be so intolerable to others that they begin to experience anxiety, depression, and an overall decreased quality of life.Read More
Laughter can help improve mood, increase immune system functioning, and moderate stress hormones. Additionally, laughter is free (or at the very least, affordable) and it lacks harmful or unwanted side effects (with the exception of the occasional stomachache).Read More
Loss can create a very deep, dark chasm in our hearts and world. Over time—often much more quickly than you feel equipped to face it—you are forced to fall into to the putting-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other existence that life requires following loss. The language we use around grief is critical.Read More
Most people have heard of “biofeedback” but don’t really know what it is, how it works or why it might be useful in chronic pain disorders. Let’s consider that “biofeedback” includes “bio” (biological functions of the body, mostly those that are not in our conscious awarenessRead More