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What are the emotional and physical effects of receiving a diagnosis?

The issues of stress, depression, anxiety, fear, anger, etc often come up in this community’s posts and articles. I’m wondering if anyone knows of any articles or sources that address specifically the emotional (and related physical) effects on (us) people who 1) Receive a life-changing diagnosis, 2) Make informed decisions regarding their course of treatment; all choices, including the choice to not treat, having very possible distressing consequences, and 3) Having to go through this process repeatedly over time.


Community Answers
  • Rojo author
    3 months ago

    Hello Eileen B , Thank you for the textbook title and link! I just gave the link a quick glance and believe the book may be quite helpful.

    I could always benefit from a better understanding of myself(not to mention PsA). That task doesn’t get easier for me with age. Not long after being diagnosed with PsA, exacerbation of symptoms turned my vocation into a permanent vacation (forced retirement). Said vocation was aligned with the field of mental health and SMI. I feel more fortunate than many for the life timing of the diagnosis and exacerbation.
    Despite my vocation, understanding CBT has escaped me until recent years. Thank you for your time and understanding.

  • Eileen B moderator
    3 months ago

    Great question, @Rojo. Being diagnosed with an incurable, lifelong illness is certainly traumatic, to say the least! There are scholarly studies on the subject, like Advancing psychological therapies for chronic pain, and the author of that study explains in plain English how psychology is working to help people disabled by pain. But on a more personal level, I think the topics you mention are the expertise of a skilled ‘chronic illness therapist.’ These specialists focus on helping people cope with the powerful distressing emotions that often accompany chronic illness. Does this answer your question? If not, keep asking, and I’ll try again. 🙂

    -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • Rojo author
    3 months ago

    Thank you! Eileen B for the document link you provided on “Advancing psychological therapies…”. I found the section “Novel Targets for Therapy Development, 4)” particularly encouraging in ways I had never imagined, esp. 24/7 data feedback from wearable tech. And there are so many great informational links within the entire document.

    Thanks also for your insightful mention of ‘chronic illness therapists’. As a lifelong believer in the benefits of talk therapy it had not occurred to me this particular type of therapists existed °_°

  • Eileen B moderator
    3 months ago

    I’m glad you found it helpful, @Rojo. The research is fascinating — it sent me down the proverbial rabbit hole for a while. Google Scholar has that affect on me.

    Honestly, it surprised me to learn of the existence of "chronic illness therapists", too. But of course you're right, it makes total sense that people need help coping with the major, traumatic upheaval that chronic illness thrusts upon unsuspecting lives. I debated whether to share a link to this textbook with you yesterday, but now I believe you'll find it interesting, Coping with Chronic Illness: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach for Adherence and Depression, Therapist Guide. (I checked, it’s still for sale by major retailers.) Is this a subject you’re considering as a vocation, or just to gain a better understanding of yourself? -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

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