Are you someone who has been recently diagnosed with a serious medical illness or disability, or perhaps you have been living with a diagnosis for many years? Are you dealing with ongoing tedious and painful medical test and procedures? Chronic pain? Trauma with dealing with red tape and insurance agencies? Social isolation? The strain of feeling displaced because of moving from home to hospital? Do you struggle with needle phobia? Anxiety about procedures?
Do you find yourself thinking:
“This is so unfair!!”
“I feel like everything is out of my control!!”
“How can I find the strength to get through each day?”
“Will I ever be happy again?”
When we’ve endured chronic medical illness, it can be easy to dismiss the serious impact it can have on our mental health. However, it is common to experience feelings of sadness, frustration, hopelessness and anxiety after struggling with serious medical issues. We may experience physical symptoms such as:
• Unbalanced sleep patterns
• Feeling sad, irritable and anxious
• Feeling empty, hopeless, guilty or worthless
• Losing pleasure and enjoyment in our previous passions
• Aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive issues that don’t have a clear cause
Medical illness can contribute to these problems. In fact, people with chronic medical conditions have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Medical treatment in itself can be traumatizing for many individuals, and the medications prescribed for various illnesses can exacerbate mental health issues. This makes those battling a wide variety of medical illnesses very prone to repeated trauma and the development of anxiety and depression. We work with doctors and physicians to take care of our physical bodies and ailments, but treating our mental health requires a different type of specialty.
While it can be difficult to diagnose mental health concerns in the medically ill, it is critical to work with a trained professional to diagnose and treat it. Psychotherapy is a healthy, effective way to work through the negative mental and emotional effects of medical and chronic illness. EMDR can assist in recalibrating the central nervous system, restoring functioning and minimizing suffering so that those who are enduring rigorous medical treatment don’t have to endure any additional pain than they already are.
I have advanced training and expertise in traditional therapies as well as higher level training, including EMDR, that are highly effective for addressing concerns specific to individuals struggling with medical illnesses. Whether it’s finding ways to manage the stress of the daily burden of care, or dealing with loneliness and pain, I can provide you with the tools to help you overcome.