Physical health difficulties (including adjustment, chronic pain & medically unexplained symptoms, MUS)
Being in pain (often or constantly) or frequently feeling “under the weather”, affects our mood and how we feel about ourselves.
Physical health problems can lead to low mood, feelings of helplessness and/or anxiety and worry about the future as well as sleep disturbances. Self confidence and self-esteem may also be lowered. See a psychologist for chronic health problems.
Being given a medical diagnosis is a major life event and can stir up difficult feelings. See a Psychologist after a medical diagnosis for help adjusting to the changes; it can be helpful.
Not being able to obtain a clear diagnosis is very difficult to handle; feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, frustration, worry, anger, hopelessness, loss (including loss of part of your identity) and/or feelings of not being believed, are compounded. Feeling neglected or abandoned by the doctors can also be felt.
“I’m not me anymore”
“I hate having to learn to live with it, what I can’t do anymore”
Pain can affect up to half of the population at any one time.
Pain affects every part of your life and how you feel about yourself. Your home, work and social life can all be affected. Others close to you will also have to come to terms with any limits in your life due to your health problems. See a psychologist for pain management and other issues.
Carer stress is not uncommon as well as issues with your partner, given that their role changed from romantic partner to partial/full carer. See a psychologist for carer stress.
Seeing a Clinical Psychologist, or Health Psychologist, to safely help you either through the psychological adjustment period on first acute episode or when chronic, or diagnosed with a chronic condition can act as a fresh start.
See also: Adjusting to life changes; Anxiety and worry; Bereavement; Depression / low mood; Difficulties with managing your emotions; Mood disorders; Motivational difficulties; Self-confidence; Self-esteem and; Stress.
Written by © Dr Jurai Darongkamas, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, (with over 35 years’ experience). The above has been written to provide a brief overview for the reader. It should not be used as a basis for any action until after obtaining a professional opinion about your unique difficulties, strengths, circumstances, life history, etc.