Addressing the emotional dimension of chronic illness

As a dialysis patient, I feel so much better when during dialysis the dialysis nurse or physician asks me questions outside the routine clinical ones. I love it when we have even just a short chat of our favorite TV shows, sports or other topics like friends do. I appreciate it when the healthcare professional goes beyond just hooking me to the dialysis machine, simply taking my blood pressure and giving me medications without talking to me as if he or she is a robot. Although the beneficial effects of these simple acts may not appear to be obvious but believe me, they help me a lot in coping with my chronic condition. There indeed is an emotional dimension to chronic illness and not many are realizing this.

According to Turner and Kelly (2000), “The emotional dimensions of chronic conditions are often overlooked when medical care is considered.” These patients, they added, often have to adjust many things in their life to include lifestyle and aspirations.

Depression is known to occur at higher rates in cancer than the community for example. Financial strain and lack of emotional support can have an effect on mental health of these patients.

As part 2 of our Mental Health tweetchats here in #HealthXPh, we pose for you these questions:

T1. What are the common mental health concerns of patients with chronic illness?
T2. Are there interventional programs that address mental health concerns of patients with chronic illness? Describe or suggest one.
T3. What is the role of social media in addressing mental health concerns of patients with chronic illness?
Join us this Saturday October 21, 9 PM Philippine time for another interesting topic. See you in Twitter!

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