From Our Archives—The Mental Health Impacts of 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 and treatments available to those dealing with a chronic illness.
The National Institute of Mental Health has information on this topic and communicates that "Depression is common among people who have chronic illnesses…" A couple of examples include:
- Multiple sclerosis
March focuses on MS awareness and February is one of many months that promote cancer awareness. Awareness months, weeks, or days focus community attention on particular health issues, which opens up the opportunity to address mental health as well. With that in mind, take this opportunity to learn more about the mental health impacts of dealing with chronic illness. NAMI also states, "Do not dismiss depression as a normal part of having a chronic illness. Effective treatment for depression is available and can help even if you have another medical illness or condition. If you or a loved one think you have depression, it is important to tell your health care provider and explore treatment options."
For example, the National MS Society and the American Cancer Society have resources available on emotional health when living with MS or cancer.
- Depression in Multiple Sclerosis: What We Know, What We Need to Learn, and What We Can Do Today (National MS Society)
- Cancer Affects Your Emotional Health (American Cancer Society)
- Stress and MS: Relaxation Techniques (National MS Society)
- Find Support Programs and Services in Your Area (American Cancer Society)