Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Life of Coping or a Life of Moping

This article by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is titled Coping With Autoimmunity.  The information presented is not new research or information, but it is very well written and summarizes some excellent suggestions for managing chronic autoimmune disease. 

Some of my favorite suggestions: 
You can expect to have a variety of emotional responses. Typically, newly diagnosed patients feel the "anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance" cycle identified by Kubler-Ross as a response to coping with a significant loss and major life changes. You may feel isolated from others and experience fear of the unknown future. 

Understanding these responses and their causes will help you determine what works best for you in overcoming them. Be open and forthright with those around you. It is important that you do not blame everything that goes wrong on your illness.

Use "I" messages with others. If you are not feeling well, say "I'm not feeling well and I could really use your support." "You" messages are usually interpreted defensively and get in the way of the real issue, which is your need for support. It's okay to lean upon your support system when you need to.

Understand that you did nothing to cause your illness and that life is not always fair. Bad things do happen to almost everyone at sometime in a lifetime. It is how we deal with these life changes that makes the difference between a life of coping and a life of moping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very practical advice for those of us who live with chronic ilness. I have found the AARDA web site to be one of good, interesting and sensible information.