Being diagnosed with a serious illness is never going to be a pleasant experience. Emotions will be running wild, and you will be scared and perhaps even angry. Yet once the initial shock has worn off, if you want to live as full a life as possible, you will need to work out just how to cope with your diagnosis. It may sound impossible, but there are ways it can be done that will help you be in a better place, no matter what your prognosis is.
One of the best ways to cope with a serious illness is to learn more about it. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to cope with anything that is going to come your way. At your initial diagnosis, you will only be able to take some of the information in – once you have heard what your illness is, you might even stop listening altogether. This is only to be expected.
After the shock has dissipated somewhat, you can start learning more about your condition. You will learn about how other people have dealt with the illness you have, and what ideas they have come up with to cope better, and this is always going to be helpful. You will also learn about the different pieces of equipment you might need, such as where to buy colostomy supplies or how to administer drugs when required. The more you know, the better you will feel because you will be more in control.
Although it might be hard to admit to being unwell because you don’t want to upset other people by letting them know, it is crucial that you do so. You don’t have to tell everyone, and you don’t even have to tell those closest to you. Although, if you can, this is a good idea; you will have a much better understanding support network all around you. However, talking to someone is going to help you to cope much better than if you were to keep your fears and worries inside.
If you really don’t want to discuss your thoughts with those closest to you, look online for support groups that can help you. You might find chat rooms and forums or meetings that can be held either in person or over a video call. Do what is right for you, but try to speak to someone as it will help.
Go Easy On Yourself
It’s easy to underestimate the effect that a frightening diagnosis can have on someone’s mental health. However, remember that this is one of the biggest things that will ever happen to you, and you need to go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to have whatever feelings come to you, and don’t try to act as though nothing is different because that’s not the truth, and it’s not going to help you.
If it means changing plans, doing things for yourself, keeping yourself happy, and prioritizing your feelings over other people’s, then this is what you must do. After a time – it might be short, or it might be long – you may be able to return to how things were, but this is not necessary if it doesn’t work for you.