Connect your chronic illness: Facebook and beyond!

There are many support systems for those who live with a chronic disease.

Living with a chronic illness can present many challenges. Unfortunately, some of these challenges may lead to altering personal and lifestyle choices. Added stress can also lead to loss of personal satisfaction. If your chronic illness has caused you to feel these challenges, it is important to know that support is closer than you think. By establishing a positive support team you may find personal satisfaction can resume. Michigan State University Extension suggests the following:

  • Why is a support team important?
    Establishing a support system for reducing stress has been well documented. Mayo Clinic has many suggestions for coping with stress. Developing systems of support is important for those with chronic illnesses. It is helpful to have family and friends who understand, but establishing an outside system of support is also extremely helpful. Joining a support group, subscribing to a newsletter that pertains to your chronic illness or involving yourself in creative therapies and hobbies all can lead to improved wellbeing.
  • Building local support
    Finding support doesn’t have to be complicated or involve lots of individuals. Support can come from many places: Your doctor’s office, a pharmacist, family member, friend, support group or church. It can be as simple as making weekly phone calls to someone else with the same illness; or finding inspiration from reading an article or blog. When calling your doctor’s office, get to know the phone nurse or office staff by name. Don’t be afraid to call your pharmacist by name. Set up a scheduled “call a friend” appointment and touch base with someone with your same chronic condition. Each time we make a connection to another person or group of people who understand our illness, the more we have the opportunity to share our feelings.
  • Facebook and beyond
    You can build a worldwide support team right from your home! Facebook is a networking platform that has a wealth of groups developed solely to linking people together. Become Facebook friends with:

There are plenty of online support system opportunities. They’re free, anonymous and you can join or remove yourself at any time. Always remember to follow all privacy practices when you are online. Do not use web-based information to diagnose illnesses, be sure to consult your health care provider.

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