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Coping with chronic illness


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Coping with chronic illness.

Coping with chronic illness.

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  • 1. COPING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS Gabriela Cherascu M.D. Adult and Geriatric Psychiatrist Medical Director Mental Health Unit Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, IA
  • 2. CHRONIC ILLNESS: What is it? To accept it or deny it? ACCEPTANCE is essential. Acceptance does not mean resignation.
  • 3. ATTITUDE: Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill If you dont like something change it; if you cant change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit To be upset over what you dont have is to waste
  • 4. MORE ON ATTITUDE: “I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”, Jimmy Dean “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” , Charles R. Swindoll
  • 5. WHAT CAN HELP? Find ways to feel more in control (learn, plan) Take control ( be active participant in your treatment plan) Problem solve Communicate with other people Build a support network ( friends, support group) Ask for help
  • 6. LEARN ABOUT YOUR ILLNESS: Learn as much as you can about your illness (read books, articles, blogs, go to support groups) Work with your providers, ask questions Learn your warning signs of illness Learn what works for you Learn how to take your treatment Help your partner/family learn about your illness Keep track of your symptoms and treatments
  • 7. PLAN AND FOLLOW YOUR PLAN. - keep your appointments - take your treatment as prescribed - attend support group
  • 8. SUPPORT GROUP: Join a support group - it will allow you to share your experience and learn from others. The people who have the same problem understand best what you are going through.
  • 9. CROHN & COLITIS FOUNDATIONOF AMERICA (CCFA): Good resource Support In many languages Special part for kids and teens (camp)
  • 10. My IBD ( – The Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflamatory Bowel Disease
  • 11. GASTROKIDS web site
  • 12. STRESS: Stress does not cause IBD, but can worsen it
  • 13. STRESS REDUCTION: Exercise Relaxation techniques – different types Meditation – live in the present Develop and use other coping skills (humor, music, prayer, journaling, breathing techniques, yoga, etc.) Volunteer Socialize Faith and spirituality
  • 14. SMALL ADVICE: Know where the restrooms are, situate yourself close to them Have extra garments on hand Car kit with toilet paper and a change of clothes Medical Alert Restroom Access Pass (My IBD web site) Bring the list of symptoms, of questions and the medications you take to your appointments
  • 15. DO I HAVE DEPRESSION? 1/3 of people with chronic illness have depression Symptoms of depression: - feeling sad/”blue”/”down in the dumps” - poor sleep or oversleeping - decreased concentration - low energy - decreased or increased appetite - guilt - thoughts of suicide - hopelessness - crying spells out of the blue
  • 16. TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION: Improves overall medical condition Increases quality of life Increases adherence to the treatment plan of the chronic illness Options of treatment: medication and/or psychotherapy (individual and group counseling), exercise, meditation
  • 17. DO I HAVE ANXIETY? Many people with chronic illness have anxiety Symptoms of anxiety: - excessive fear/worry, feeling keyed up or on edge, easily fatigued, mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension disturbed sleep - attacks of panic with palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, lightheadedness, numbness
  • 18. TREATMENT OF ANXIETY: Improves overall medical condition Increases quality of life Increases adherence to the treatment plan of the chronic illness Options of treatment: medication and/or psychotherapy, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, exercise
  • 19. SMOKING: DON’T SMOKE, WILL MAKE YOUR CROHN’S DISEASE WORSE – best recognized risk factor
  • 20. SMOKING: HOW TO QUIT: - decide if you want to quit smoking or not - it can be hard to quit smoking, but it is doable (the more you try, the more chances you have to succeed) - find a motivation - tell somebody and reward yourself - consider tapering - nicotine replacement - should you use medication?
  • 21. FOR KIDS: Ask questions Talk with your parents and doctors Don’t give in to peer pressure to drink ( interacts with your medication), smoke ( worsens your illness), or do drugs Educate your peers ( most are ignorant or lack knowledge about your illness)
  • 22. FOR PARENTS: Your attitude counts a lot. Help your children understand what happens and how they can best help themselves (empower them).
  • 23. BOOKS: Coping with Crohn’s Disease, by Amy Trachter and Henry Wodnicki Check Your Pride at the Door: Learning to Live with IBD, by Darryl Helems IBD: A Guide to Patients and Their Families, by Stanley H. Stein and Richard P. Rood
  • 24. MORE BOOKS: Don’t Die of Embarrassment; Life after Colostomy and Other Adventures by Barbara Barrie It Takes More Than Guts: Life Changing Discoveries About Surviving and Overcoming IBD and Chronic Illness, by Phillip Van Hooser
  • 25. ARTICLE: Coping with Chronic Illness – Clinical Center NIH
  • 26. THANK YOU!