• Todd Schmenk

Psychological Effects of a Chronic Condition

If you are dealing with a chronic condition, you may experience psychological distress. Whether you are coping with the diagnosis, the effects of treatment, or continued worry about a recurrence, emotions brought on by these experiences can be challenging to handle.


Chronic conditions, especially life-threatening ones, may bring on a range of emotions, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Shock/disbelief

  • Fear/uncertainty

  • Guilt/shame

  • Grief/sadness

  • Anxiety/depression

  • Anger/frustration

  • Feelings of isolation

  • Vulnerability/helplessness

  • Loss of identity

The last two emotions are often the strongest themes. These are best exemplified by statements such as “I just want my life back” or “I wish my life could be like it was before.” These strong statements are rooted in the frustration that “normal life” has been taken from you.


Coming up with strategies to help strengthen your psychological flexibility is key. Psychological care during such a time as this is necessary and an integral part of the framework of Team Positive. Those who have used this framework have reported higher levels of relaxation and acceptance, the ability to cope better during treatment, and a plan for keeping anxiety and depression within a tolerable range. Most importantly, they reported having more enjoyable moments than they thought would be possible undergoing such a challenge.

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© 2015 by Todd Schmenk

1 Richmond Square, 103k, Providence, RI 02906

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