Having a long-term, or chronic, illness can disrupt your life in many ways. You may often be tired and in pain. Your illness might affect your appearance or your physical abilities and independence. You may not be able to work, causing financial problems. For children, chronic illnesses can be frightening, because they may not understand why this is happening to them.
These changes can cause stress, anxiety, and anger. If they do, it is important to seek help. A trained counselor can help you develop strategies to regain a feeling of control. Support groups might help, too. You will find that you are not alone, and you may learn some new tips on how to cope.
You may be able to manage your illness better if learn more about it. It is important to evaluate the information that you find, to make sure that it is reliable. It is also important to find a health care provider that you can trust.
- Chronic Illness & Mental Health (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in Spanish
- Coping with a Diagnosis of Chronic Illness (American Psychological Association) Also in Spanish
- Next Steps After Your Diagnosis: Finding Information and Support (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
- Self-Management: Taking Charge of Your Health (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- How to Help a Friend or Loved One Suffering from a Chronic Illness (American Psychological Association) Also in Spanish
- Psychologists' Role in Treating Chronically Ill Persons (American Psychological Association)
- Request a Brown-Bag Check-Up (Institute for Safe Medication Practices)
Statistics and Research
- Chronic Diseases Overview (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Chronic Disease (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Impact of health literacy on medication adherence in older people...
- Article: CDC Grand Rounds: Improving Medication Adherence for Chronic Disease Management...
- Article: Combining Best Practices and Patient, Caregiver, and Healthcare Provider Perspectives...
- Coping with Chronic Illness -- see more articles
- Living with Multiple Health Problems: What Older Adults Should Know (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
- Living with a chronic illness - dealing with feelings (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Living with a chronic illness - reaching out to others (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish