Chronic illness can cause trauma in adults!

Trauma and stress have been linked to a variety of chronic disorders, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, lupus, chronic pain, and digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fibromyalgia.

When the body undergoes stress for a prolonged period, neurochemicals and hormones linked with stress are discharged in unusually large amounts. Although these chemicals follow naturally and are a significant process of normal functioning, their extended discharge can be toxic to the brain and body.

When I was first diagnosed with HIV I decided not to disclose my status. I was concerned about the fallout and rejection my disclosure would release and was unwilling to allow myself to be vulnerable. Had I known then what I know now, I would have done things differently.

My health rapidly deteriorated and as I had no physical, emotional or mental support (all of my own doing) I landed in the hospital and doctor’s room on many occasions. Dragging myself to get help without support from family and friends was exhausting and made me even more ill. Trauma and stress to my body became overwhelming. I ended up with TB Meningitis, Cancer, Strokes and more.

There are ways to deal with the trauma of a chronic diagnosis and treatment for this should not be neglected.

Keep in mind that your body is not the enemy. The sooner you accept that, the faster your mental and physical trauma can be alleviated.

  1. Remember, it is not your fault that you have health issues.
  2. Do not destroy yourself by adding self-blame to your list of challenges.
  3. Make peace with this addition to your life.
  4. Do not drain yourself of energy agonising about how others interpret your medical condition.
  5. Keep positive people who support you, around.
  6. You will be let down by friends and family on occasion, accept that this will happen.
  7. Be brave enough to ask for help.

A chronic condition can affect anyone. How you manage it is what makes the difference.

You can get cover of up to 1 million rand for your chronic health condition and up to 10 million if you are living with HIV.

SMS CHRONIC to 33857 to find out more.

I did!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only.

It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure, and is not a substitute for professional consultation with a health professional.

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