What happens to your dreams when diagnosed with a life limiting health condition?
We all have expectations of what our lives would be… dreams, aspirations and goals we spend years building, planning and chasing. But what happens when you are then diagnosed with a life long condition, with no clear treatments and no cure?
I’m not sure people realise how important mental health support is in our community. For those diagnosed with rare, chronic, life limiting, life threatening or invisible health conditions, the years after diagnosis can drastically affect a person’s mental health. People may realise that their life isn’t going to take the path they have chosen, to then spend time in shock, denial, depression, and grieving for the life they once had.
Professionals often talk about ‘quality of life’, but often, there’s no mental health support after diagnosis. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and with an overwhelming mix of emotions, life can be extremely challenging when you have to come to terms with a diagnosis. It can push you to your limits physically and emotionally with added challenges such as pain, vomiting and/or mobility issues.
Too many of our chronic illness community lose their lives to suicide. Back in 2013, I very nearly lost my own battle due to debilitating depression.
This needs to change.
With local lockdowns putting more pressure on those with chronic health conditions, support is desperately needed.
‘Life After Diagnosis’ will be a vital service for people in those first few years of diagnosis. This weekly online face to face peer support group will help people feel like they are not alone.
To start the support group, we need to fundraise £120 for the online platform that will allow us to run support meetings. I will continue to fundraise to secure the future of ‘Life after Diagnosis’ and expand our service as demand increases.
No one should have to suffer in silence.
Please remember, you are not alone.
We hope to have our weekly ‘life after diagnosis’ support sessions booked in by mid October, with introduction sessions fortnightly for newcomers. They will be advertised in the events section on my Facebook page ‘Pip Disabled Mum’.
This will be a vital service for Teesside residents with chronic illness during local lockdowns and beyond.
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