Why see a psychologist if you are suffering from pain or illness? Physical illness correlates strongly with Major Depression. It takes a toll on people’s work, financial and social lives, and plays havoc with their sense of self-esteem and with their important relationships. A psychologist can help people who have experienced the kinds of disruptions that often come along with pain and illness.
What kinds of problems does a psychologist work with when a patient has a medical condition? The challenges that arise in a person’s life when they encounter the effects of physical illness are many. For some, the medical, diet and exercise regimens are a primary source of worry. This can be common with patients who have to manage diabetes or arthritis or weight issues. Needing to be constantly on one’s “best behavior” can cause “burnout” and lead to irritability and depression. Others may struggle with stigma and misunderstanding from friends and family members. It can be difficult to relate to what is going on for someone experiencing chronic pain, or for someone who has received a potentially life-altering diagnosis such as coronary heart disease, cancer or HIV.
What can I expect from a course of therapy that is connected to my medical illness? While disease and pain can take a tremendous toll on a person suffering from these conditions, I work with my patients to try and bring their lives back on track. I believe in maintaining and repairing damaged relationships, and bringing people back to their highest ability to function in their work, play and social lives.