When all seems to be going well, an illness can completely turn a person’s near perfect life upside down. You might not be able to control your illness, but what you can control is your attitude. Don’t let your illness shatter your dreams or break your spirit. You can still win against it.
1 Illness is not in our control: An illness can strike anyone at any time. It often takes time accepting one’s circumstances. Don’t blame yourself for it.
2 Seek medical opinion at the earliest: Early intervention is your best bet to tackle any disorder. Don’t feel guilty or be embarrassed. Don’t hide your illness from your parents. Tell them about your symptoms.
3 Know about it with your doctor’s guidance: Having a clear understanding of your condition and everything it entails can make it a little easier to cope. Ask your doctor for reliable information.
4 Take care of all precautions: Suffering from an illness is disheartening but you still need to make an effort to look after yourself. Be careful and don’t neglect the precautions that doctors have advised.
5 Listen to the doctor: Following strict medical advice can mitigate symptoms and allow you to lead a better life. Visit your doctor regularly as advised and don’t self- medicate.
6 Do not over-indulge in “illness behaviour”: It can be tempting to let someone else look after you and pamper you while you’re unwell. To a point, this is all right.
But don’t always think of yourself as being a sick person; don’t over-associate yourself with the "sick role".
7 Fight it with a positive will: The human mind can overcome the greatest obstacles. Try your best to keep a positive outlook on life and fight your illness.
8 Eat well and live well: Your lifestyle is probably the first thing that would get affected by your illness. But maintaining a regular, healthy diet, exercise and social routine is very important to restore a sense of happiness and well-being.
9 Stay in touch with friends: There’s nothing like a good friend to make you feel better when you’re down and out, so don’t withdraw and cut yourself off from your friends. Meet them or talk to them over the phone as much as possible.
10 Do not bottle up your feelings: Living with an illness can be a very lonely and overwhelming experience. But don’t bottle up your emotions. Talk to someone about how you feel. It’s okay to cry.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare