When the Body Gets Sick, so does Emotional Well-Being

BY: Laura Pinzón | Neighbors’ Consejo|

It is normal for the body to become ill sometimes, regardless of age. However, when an ailment is serious, the risk of weakening mental health increases. Many patients and their families, acquaintances and friends do not know that they must pay attention to both body and mind, so that recovery is more effective.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH [1]) people who have chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cancer, coronary heart disease, HIV/ AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, etc., are more likely to suffer from mental health problems. 

It is normal that once a disease is detected, the patient feels an immediate fear of losing the most precious thing, his/her life and with it everything that this entails: Leaving his/her plans and family. 

Therefore, it is important, as NIH mentioned, to pay attention to the main symptoms that usually appear: persistent sadness; anxious or “empty” mood; feeling hopeless or pessimistic; feeling irritable, easily frustrated or restless; loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities; difficulty concentrating when remembering or making decisions; and changes in appetite or weight, among others[2] .

The California Healthcare Foundation[3]  affirms that the company of family and friends in this process is fundamental because it will allow patients to feel supported and accompanied, demonstrating that in the face of their ailments and the treatment process that this requires, they will not be alone. In addition, if they will have to undergo some complicated treatment, they should consult not only the specialist doctor, but also a mental health specialist who can help them understand and manage the emotional situation.

References

 [1]https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/chronic-illness-mental-health

 [2]https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/chronic-illness-mental-health

 [3]https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/PDF-FamilyInvolvement_Final.pdfb

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