Living with a chronic illness can be very stressful. Not only do you have to figure out how to deal with the actual symptoms of the illness, you also have to learn how to handle health care professionals, insurance companies, family, friends, and co-workers. In addition, depending on the illness and the severity of symptoms, you may have to learn how to make changes in your everyday life.
I have included sections on evaluating information you get on the Internet, suggestions for coping with specific problems associated with having a chronic illness, and specific exercises you can use to try to improve the way that you cope with your chronic illness. It is important to realize that the suggestions and exercises are designed to HELP improve coping. Unfortunately, there is no "magic exercise" that will make us expert copers, and you should consider whether the suggestions and exercises provided below would be appropriate for you. No matter what, consult with the health care professionals treating your illness if you have any questions or concerns.
Using the Internet to Gather Information
Note: Some of these pages are currently under construction. If you see a link underlined, then it is up and running.
Quack.com is a site that lists web pages that may contain inaccurate information.
A patient page from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dealing with friends
Dealing with co-workers
Dealing with health care professionals
Dealing with insurance companies
Links to other pages that have suggestions