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Coping Strategies

Author: Janey Willis. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer.
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Coping with scleroderma and any chronic illness can be a challenge. There are many things you can do to make you feel better mentally and physically. One of the worse things you can do is to isolate yourself from the people and things that you love. You should always try to stay active, happy and positive. This page will help provide some ideas to help you cope with scleroderma. ISN
Spoons by Lisa Volz, ISN ArtistBut You Don't Look Sick: The Spoon Theory. I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of "spoons". But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. Butyoudontlooksick.com.
Factors related to self-efficacy in persons with scleroderma (SSc). Self-efficacy is one precursor that has been shown to initiate changes in behaviour when managing chronic disease. The objective of this study was to explore the levels of self-efficacy in persons with SSc, compare self-efficacy in persons with limited or diffuse SSc and determine correlations between self-efficacy, physical function and psychological variables. Buck U. (PubMed) Musculoskeletal Care, 2010 Dec.
Doctor/Patient Communication Tips. Quackwatch
Coping With Autoimmunity. A few basic suggestions are crucial for you to consider in order for you to manage your illness better. American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Arthritis Do's and Don'ts. When you're diagnosed with arthritis, you have to learn how to live and cope with chronic illness. You need to learn what to do and what not to do. Here's our list of Arthritis Do's and Don'ts - Practical Advice to Help You Cope. Carol & Richard Eustice. About.com. 09/02/10.


Study: When those with a chronic illness exercise more, they worry less. Compared with similar individuals who did not exercise, the people who exercised had a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms. Exercise helped people no matter what kind of health problem they had: cancer, depression, heart disease, fibromyalgia. Shari Roan. Los Angeles Times. 02/22/10.

Food and Drink

Diet and Systemic Scleroderma. ISN
Food Guide for Autoimmune Disease and Other Chronic Illnesses. ISN
Foods that Fight Stress. Tea, dark chocolate, fatty fish, greens, oatmeal, citrus, and milk are foods that can help reduce stress. HuffPost. (Also see: Stress and Food Guide)

Social and Personal Relationships

Chronic Pain Management: Anger, Pain, and Relationships. Living with chronic pain can be very frustrating. Not surprisingly, people with chronic pain tend to report greater levels of anger than those without pain. Golistics.
Social support: Tap this tool to reduce stress. Having close friends and family on whom you can count has far-reaching benefits for your health. Here's how to build and maintain these essential relationships. Mayo Clinic. (Also see: Causes of Scleroderma: Stress)

Staying Happy and Positive

How Happiness Affects Your Health. Data show that positive mood, optimism and humor are linked to better health and well-being. ABC News, Medical Unit. 05/27/2013.
Fibromyalgia: Ten Strategies for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Deborah A. Barrett, Ph.D.

Support for Scleroderma

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Working with Scleroderma

Disability Resources. Some people with systemic scleroderma have mild enough symptoms that they are able to continue working for years, or even decades. However, others may find that they are unable to continue working full time. ISN.
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Go to Coping with Scleroderma

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Questions? Post a message in Sclero Forums or email us directly at isn@sclero.org. Or call our Scleroderma Hotline (English only), Toll Free in U.S. 1-800-564-7099 or Direct at 1-952-831-3091. Ask for our Welcoming Email.

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