I’m scared of the disease progressing, not working, or getting worse.
To get a sense of how this might be true, imagine you have a chronic illness. Maybe you have an incurable disease with no cure. You’re scared you’ll get a worse disease or that your disease won’t work.
How do you feel about this?
It’s important to not make this comparison and to consider the disease and its treatment on its own merits. The disease and its treatment are separate from you.
If you think your disease will progress or that it’s not working, you can talk to your doctor about the right treatment and possible changes.
If you’re not sure, call your doctor.
You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a palliative care specialist.
What about the “I’m not ready to die” attitude?
It’s important to think of your death as a natural process. No one wants to die. But with a chronic illness, the disease may not be curable and could progress and make you feel like you’re not ready to die.
This is normal.
Many people with a chronic illness are in a phase where they think their illness could be better managed or cured and want to avoid the emotional experience of dying. But this is not your decision.
If you’re thinking about making this decision, talk to your doctor.
What about the “I’m too young” attitude?
This attitude has a lot to do with the age of the person.
For example, in a younger person with a chronic illness, the disease is often a young person’s first chronic illness. And the illness is often more severe.
It’s important to consider the different ages of the person and the physical and emotional needs of the person.
The type of chronic illness
There are different types of chronic illness.
Chronic conditions are those that last for at least three months.
The most common chronic illnesses are:
- Heart disease
- Chronic lung diseases
- Neurodegenerative diseases
There are also less common chronic illnesses. These include:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Mental health conditions
What about the “I don’t want to get sicker” attitude?
Some people don’t want to get sicker. They don’t want to live with the fear of getting a chronic condition.
But if you’re in this position, it’s important to remember that your doctor has a very good reason for asking you about your health.
They could be worried that something isn’t right with the way you’re feeling, or that something is going wrong with the way you’re managing your chronic illness.
They’re trying to get to the root of your concerns and get you the best treatment possible.
How about the “I’m not going to get any better” attitude?
This is a type of denial. It’s a way of not recognizing the challenges you’re facing.
If you’re in this position, you may have a hard time admitting that your chronic illness is getting worse.
Maybe you don’t think the disease is progressing. Or maybe you’ve set your own expectations that your treatment or the disease will work.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
It’s also important to remember that no one is ever going to be 100 percent well with a chronic illness.
You can’t control what happens with the disease or how poorly the disease is progressing.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about what’s happening with the disease.
What about the “I’m not going to live long enough to get better” attitude?
This attitude can be particularly dangerous.
You may believe that your illness will worsen and that you’ll never recover.
But if you’re in this situation, it’s important to remember that you’re still alive.
You can make changes to your treatment plan.
You can also talk to your doctor.
Your doctor can explain the benefits of treatment and help you make the best possible choices for your long-term health.
What about the “I’m not getting any better” attitude?
This attitude can also be dangerous.
If you think you’re not getting any better, you may not be aware of how much progress you’re making.
You may not be aware that you’re getting better. Or, you may not be able to recognize it.
For example, you may believe that your symptoms are getting worse.
The opposite could be true.
You may be getting better and not know it.
The outlook for people with chronic illnesses
There are many treatments for chronic illnesses.
Each treatment has risks and benefits.
Not all treatments have side effects. Some treatments work better than others.
Many people with chronic illnesses find that their symptoms are manageable with treatment.
It’s important that you talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of treatment and what you should expect.
It can be difficult to discuss these things with your doctor. They may not understand what you’re going through and how serious the disease is.
But your doctor wants to help you. They want to help you live a long and full life.
What about the “I’m doing all I can” attitude?
Sometimes people with chronic illnesses feel that they’re doing all they can. They think they should be able to live with their illness.
But that isn’t possible.
A person with a chronic illness may not be able to live a normal, healthy life.
But there are things you can do to help.
For example, you can:
- Ask your doctor about your treatment plan and what side effects you can expect.
- Make sure you’re taking all of your medications as prescribed.
- Get regular checkups and blood work to monitor your progress.
- Talk to your doctor about your diet. It can be helpful to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.
- Get support from others.
- Talk to your friends and family.
When people with chronic illnesses talk about their illness, they talk about their treatment. But the best treatment for their disease may not be the best treatment for you.
It’s important that you talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
It can be hard to talk about chronic illness. But it’s important that you do so.
Your doctor can help you work out your best treatment plan.
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