The way people react to the diagnosis of chronic illness happens differently for everyone. The diagnosis can be shocking even if the symptoms have been there for a long time. Many people will go through stages of grief. Emotions can range anywhere from shock and relief to anger and sadness. The reaction can be so different. Some people may ignore it and go out dancing, while others may withdraw and cry. Moving through the process of denial, confusion, anger, fear, grief, guilt and avoidance — however one experiences them — toward acceptance is a challenging process.
For those who are ill
Learning how to cope is the most important part of getting to the stage of acceptance. You rightly have time for all those emotions of grief and sorrow, but acceptance is getting to a place where you recognize how to have a useful and meaningful life.
Just as the person experiencing the illness goes through stages of varying emotion, so do family members. It’s important to work through those emotions and cope with them while being supportive toward your loved one.
The process of accepting the diagnosis of a chronic illness can be a difficult journey, and the role of counselors is helping individuals learn to cope with the reality of the situation. Through counseling, individuals and families can work through the differing emotions, the intense thoughts, the shock, confusion, sadness, and any emotion that needs to be talked about. Once a person reaches a place of acceptance, it’s common for them to feel a better sense of control of the situation. The goal is to reach a place where a person is able to get in tune with themselves, with their relationships, express feelings find humor, faith, hope, enjoy pleasures or even distractions.
To learn more or get in contact with us at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, please call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020.