5 Psychological Aspects of Physical Illness You Shouldn’t Ignore

5 Psychological Aspects of Physical Illness You Shouldn’t Ignore. a man covering his face

With the advance in medicine, there came clear distinctions between mind and body. These days, mental and physical illnesses are treated with completely different approaches. And while it does make things easier, it cannot be said that it is entirely effective. When a patient hears of a serious diagnosis, he reacts with denial and distress. Most doctors simply label it as ‘understandable and expected,’ failing to realize how deep this emotional disturbance can be.

According to research, people with some sort of physical and chronic disease have high chances of developing mental health disorders. Similarly, people with mental disorders are highly likely to have a physical illness as well. However, most of these patients do not receive proper medical care as their respective illnesses go undiagnosed. This issue should no longer be ignored, and medical health care facilities should ensure that a patient with mental disorder gets tested for physical illness and vice versa. With that said, here are some psychological aspects of physical diseases that you should know about.

It Leads to Depression

Depression is the most common psychological reaction to discovering that you have a serious disease, for example, cancer. It is alright to be shocked and feel down upon diagnosis, but if the situation persists for a long period of time, you should seek help. The treatment for serious and sometimes fatal diseases is often long. You’ll have to make a lot of lifestyle changes to get through it. Not to mention, it can be pretty hard to accept reality. It is highly advised that you should consult a therapist about managing your depression.

5 Psychological Aspects of Physical Illness You Shouldn’t Ignore. depressive mood

Anxiety Is Also Common

Anxiety is the second most common psychological disorder in people with a chronic disease. In most cases, neither they or their doctors realize it. They simply treat it as expected distress and try to be sympathetic towards them. Sure, kind and sympathetic words help but that isn’t what your patient requires. Your patient needs effective coping strategies to overcome their disorder.

High Rates of Developing Sleep Disorders

The cause of sleep disorders is almost always psychological. Having a physical disease only exacerbates the situation. The real problem is that sleep disorders are not treated as serious. Unless you have been suffering from insomnia for a few weeks, your doctor will simply advise you to improve sleep hygiene. This might help but it is not a proper treatment. If a person with the physical disease has depression and anxiety, there are high chances that he will also develop a sleep disorder. Not being able to fall asleep, having trouble staying asleep, sleeping too much and sleeping too little comes under sleep disorders.

5 Psychological Aspects of Physical Illness You Shouldn’t Ignore. insomnia

Having Low Self-esteem and Self-worth

For most people, this might not seem like a real issue that stems from a real illness. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if a person has scars or injuries on his or her face caused by chemical burns, it is obvious that they will suffer from low self-esteem. Everyone wants to look beautiful and it directly impacts their confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. And if you’re going to say that outer appearances don’t matter and only inner beauty is important, then you’re being unrealistic. Today’s age and society put a value on appearances and body image more than ever before. Yet, patients with physical diseases like cancer, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc don’t receive treatment regarding this aspect of their condition.

5 Psychological Aspects of Physical Illness You Shouldn’t Ignore. low self-esteem

Difficulty in Forming and Maintaining Relationships

If a person with a mental disorder has difficulty in forming relations, it is seen as normal and expected. Moreover, they do receive appropriate treatment to overcome it. But people with physical diseases do not have the same luxury, even though they also suffer from emotional detachment. Patients of chronic illnesses often withdraw and distance themselves from their friends and family. They do this because they think no one can understand what they’re going through. Consequently, they have difficulty forming new relationships and maintaining them. Providing them therapy regarding this should be a significant part of their medical treatment.

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