in Scleroderma Video Presented by Amanda Thorpe
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)
Overview of Emotional Adjustment with Scleroderma
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.
Traditionally, the experience of serious illness has been approached in two ways: (1) a gloomy perspective of resignation, self-denial, and helplessness, or (2) a Pollyanna approach that denies altogether that there has been a real trauma. Both of these perspectives distort and disguise the reality of chronic illness. Adapted from the book After the Diagnosis : From Crisis to Personal Renewal for Patients With Chronic Illness by Dr. JoAnn LeMaistre.
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.
Anxiety, Attitude, and Scleroderma
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.
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.
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.
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.
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