chronic illness

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When Illness Defines Identity

When we have chronic illness, it is very easy to get consumed in what we can’t do and be. This comes to shape our identity and can even hamper our self-esteem. Unfortunately, diagnostic labels can come to define us if we don’t take active measures to prevent that from occurring. As a psychologist I see how […]

What meaning does chronic illness have for you?

wellness coaching

Sometimes when people get a diagnosis of a chronic illness, the thoughts that they have about it make the illness worse and they suffer more. There is an implied stigma, or socially agreed-upon construct, that includes pity, shame, struggle, and a lousy future. If we have chronic illness, we can adopt this construct and internalize […]

When You’re Discouraged…

discouraged woman

Having a chronic illness or chronic pain has its fair share of disappointing occurrences in life. You may feel discouraged from time to time, and it may be the only obvious choice to you at such times. You may think that you doing really well and then have a relapse of illness, and injury, or something else […]

The right words at the right time… (What to say when a friend has chronic or serious illness)

etiquette serious illness

What do you want to hear when you’re facing a serious illness? Or even a chronic illness? I have seen from personal and professional experience that news of the diagnosis like cancer, AIDS, or other life-threatening illness leaves some of us speechless or awkwardly twisting in the wind trying to find the right words to […]

What can a health coach do for chronic illness?

Just as we think of people who use health or wellness coaches as wanting help with losing weight or developing healthier habits, we might assume that these people don’t have other health concerns that challenge their quality of life as well. Chronic illness affects 117 million people in the United States (as of 2012; see http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm). Some […]