Serious Physical or Long Term Illness.
Having a serious physical or long term illness can have a profound effect on the way we think and feel. Being in hospital for a long time or having to take strong and often toxic drug treatments can make you feel anxious or stressed as well as physically ill. Often, the loss of independence or being left alone with your thoughts can cause severe distress. Some treatments can affect the way the brain works and can cause depression and anxiety directly.
Even after you are physically “better”, you can still suffer emotionally from the experiences you have been through; you can feel misunderstood by family and friends; you may have lost confidence or struggle to find a purpose; you might just feel unable to cope with the changing circumstances.
It can be difficult asking for help when we are dealing with the anxiety of physical and long term illness as it feels like nothing can be done about it. Therapy may help make sense of these feelings and I have specific experience of dealing with these complex thoughts and emotions and can offer help in coping with them.
I have worked with many people trying to manage serious or long term illnesses. I am trained as a Facilitator for the Expert Patient Programme (initially run by the NHS) which gives people the tools to self manage their chronic illness as much as possible. I facilitate a support group for people affected by Hepatitis C on behalf of The Hepatitis C Trust charity. I have also written and present workshops for people coping with long term illness.