One of the most ignored needs when living with chronic pain is that of mental health therapy.
Receiving a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease is overwhelming. There is so much to take in, especially if you have no knowledge about your diagnosed disease and weren’t expecting it.
While there are many resources available to educate us about our symptoms and treatment options, there aren’t many resources for patients to be made aware of the changes that will at some point or another become an issue in their personal lives.
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#Fibromyalgia and #psoriaticarthritis are more than physically painful. Without proper support and education these #chronicillnesses destroy lives!Tweet
Therapy is Important
The only thing that was stressed upon when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis was adherence to my medicinal plan.
That’s NOT enough!
Mental health care should always be discussed and encouraged.Tweet
Our prescribed treatments aren’t going to help if we are struggling with our mental health. In fact, some treatments may increase or cause depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
Regular sessions with a therapist, either online or in person, could help us recognize when we are slipping into a depressive state. It may help us discover toxic relationships that are making it harder to live with our illnesses. When made aware of our treatment plans, they may be able to recognize when a drug is to blame before it is too late.
Therapy for Grieving
The grieving process discussed in part one of this series is not a one time event. The grieving process will be repeated with every loss of independence, new symptom, and change that must be made because of our chronic illness. Ongoing therapy would be beneficial to help patients first know that this is totally normal and secondly to guide them through it.
It is not uncommon for someone experiencing prolonged periods of extreme pain to make rash or irrational decisions. Pain takes over our brain which makes it difficult to take the time needed to think everything through. A monthly visit with a counselor or therapist could hold us accountable to not make decisions that may hurt us in the long run. It could also indicate to our pain management team that our current plan isn’t working.
Not everyone has a partner they can openly discuss their fears and pain with. Having a therapist to vent frustrations to could prevent some patients from lashing out in anger at loved ones. It is not uncommon to hold everything in and then later have it all come spewing out at a loved one who just happened to be in the room. Through regular counseling there would be less misdirected anger and better communication.
What could help a newly diagnosed patient
- A list of mental health therapists in the area that are trained to understand chronic illnesses and the emotional toll that one experiences with it.
- Online therapy resources like Online-Therapy.com. Besides cost of treatment, one other reason patients do not seek therapy is because they are in too much pain to leave home for yet another appointment.
Thank you for reading part two of this nine-part series.
- 1 Mental Health
- 2 Therapy is Important
- 3 Intimacy Issues
- 4 What is Health Journaling?
- 5 Pain Relief Options
- 6 Relationship Troubles
- 7 Need for Assistance
- 8 Importance of Self-Care
- 9 Keep Moving with a Mobility Aid
- The Cost of Living with Fibromyalgia
- Invasion of the Brain Snatcher! Tips for Dealing with Fibro Fog
- Four Wearable Pain Relief Devices for Fibromyalgia and Arthritis
- Seven Embarrassing Fibromyalgia Symptoms
- F words that describe what it is like to live with Fibromyalgia
- 5 Ways to Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain