Living with a Chronic Illness
Anxiety and Attitude
Coping with Scleroderma
Depression and Scleroderma
Fear of Progression
|Marriage and Health
Quality of Life with Scleroderma
Sexuality and Scleroderma
Sleep Disorders and Scleroderma
Living with a chronic illness is nobody's choice but there are things we can do to make living with it easier. Making lifestyle changes that reduce stress, limiting our exposure to unhealthy situations, and promoting laughter are good places to start.
Taking medications properly, staying close to family and friends, being aware of how we feel physically and emotionally can also help. For people with scleroderma or any chronic illness, depression is a natural reaction to diagnosis, the symptoms and the major changes in quality of life but as depression can make the physical problems of a disease worse it must be monitored and treated as necessary.
Scleroderma can also affect every aspect of sexuality for men and women so it's important to consider the emotional impact of this. Also be aware that poor sleep can trigger inflammation, worsen pain and lead to depression making it even more difficult to cope with the underlying chronic illness. (Also see Sclero Forums Online Support Group, Hosted Chats, Scleroderma Videos, and Amanda Thorpe)
Causes of Scleroderma: Stress. Stress can cause hormonal and cellular changes in our bodies which can lead to a variety of medical problems. Chronic stress is thought to be a trigger for the development or exacerbation of autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, there might also be a positive role for stress in reducing inflammation in some circumstances. ISN.
Stress and Disease
Stress and Fertility
|Stress and Inflammation
Psychosocial aspects of systemic sclerosis (SSc). To better address the psychosocial needs of persons with SSc, interventions need to be developed and tested. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2013 Nov;25(6):707-13.
Living with a Chronic Illness usually requires several lifestyle changes that reduce stress, limit exposure to unhealthy situations, help you get some type of exercise, encourage eating healthy, and promote lots of laughter. ISN.
Coping: Anxiety and Attitude. Anxiety is a symptom that needs to be addressed and minimized when one is dealing with a chronic illness such as scleroderma. ISN.
| Overview of Anxiety |
Scleroderma and Anxiety
- Anxiety: Personal Stories
- Anxiety: Sclero Forums Discussions
| Attitude |
- Attitude Personal Stories
Coping with Scleroderma. A healthy emotional adjustment is an important part of having a good quality of life (QOL). It is even more important when you have a chronic illness such as scleroderma. ISN.
|Overview of Coping with Scleroderma
Coping with a Child's Chronic Illness
Support Group Stories
|Evaluating State of Mind and QOL
Personal Stories of Child with Scleroderma
Depression is a serious sadness that may or may not have a reason. For people with scleroderma or another chronic illness, depression is a natural reaction to the diagnosis, the symptoms, and changes in the quality of life. ISN.
Fatigue in Scleroderma. Mild to extreme fatigue is a common symptom of scleroderma. Fatigue is not in your head. It is caused by physiological problems as well as psychological problems associated with the disease or other symptoms of the disease. ISN.
Sclero Complications and Fatigue
Individualized Intervention Programs Benefit SSc Patients. Since fear of disease progression and symptoms of depression are strongly associated, the researchers stated it is important to target both factors simultaneously with psychological interventions. Scleroderma News Today, 2014. (Also see Systemic Sclerosis: Prognosis and Mortality)
Marriage and Health. Support and counseling can be crucial for both the patient and their family members to understand and successfully deal with the many complex challenges of chronic illness. ISN.
Needle Phobia. About 10% of people have a needle phobia, but there's no more need to suffer from the devastating effects of this disorder. ISN.
Pain Management. Many people with scleroderma suffer from chronic pain; therefore, in order to maintain an acceptable quality of life it is important to learn how to manage the pain. ISN.
Pain and Relationships
Pain and Scleroderma
Exercise and Arthritis
Research on Pain
Quality of Life with Scleroderma. The quality of life (QOL) is affected any time something prevents you from maintaining your normal routine or from doing something that you enjoy. A broken arm will affect your QOL on a temporary basis, but a chronic illness may it affect it indefinitely. ISN.
QOL with Scleroderma
Sexuality and Scleroderma. Scleroderma can affect every aspect of sexuality, for both men and women. ISN.
|Video Overview of Sexuality and Scleroderma
Erectile Dysfunction and Scleroderma
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Pregnancy and Scleroderma
Sclero Forums Discussions
Sleep and Scleroderma. Poor sleep has been found to trigger inflammation and worsen pain. It can lead to depression and make it more difficult to cope with chronic illness. ISN.
|Overview of Sleep and Scleroderma
Restless Leg Syndrome
Sleep and Illness
|Sleep and Medications
Suicide Prevention. If you or a loved one are even casually thinking about suicide, this is a medical emergency! Call your local emergency number (911 in the U.S.) or go to your local Emergency Room right away.
|Overview of Suicide
Suicide Risk Factors
Suicide Warning Signs
Reading Voices of Scleroderma Books: Diana Kramer.
Sharing Scleroderma Awareness Bracelets: Deb Martin, Brenda Miller, Vickie Risner.
Thanks to UNITED WAY donors of Central New Mexico and Snohomish County!
Patricia Ann Black: Marilyn Currier, Shelley Ensz, Richard Howitt, Gerald and Pat Ivanejko, Juno Beach Condo Association, Keith and Rosalyn Miller, and Elaine Wible.
Gayle Hedlin: Daniel and Joann Pepper and Nancy Smithberg.
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