Stress and Chronic Illness

Everyone experiences varying degrees of stress, from multiple sources, on an ongoing basis. Stressors may be minor inconveniences, ongoing irritations, major lifestyle changes, abrupt losses, and/or unexpected turns of events.

How we choose to respond to such stressors plays an important role in the impact that they subsequently have on our well-being. Nevertheless, those who are forced to deal with chronic illness are uniquely challenged by adjusting to such stressors.

We simply do not have the same reservoir of physical, mental, and emotional resources that healthy individuals possess. In addition, chronic illness most often severely impacts one’s ability to remain employed on a consistent basis; as a result, financial resources are also adversely impacted by chronic illness.

Consequently, the impact of any given stressor is significantly heightened by having a chronic medical condition. In turn, heightened stress levels notoriously induce increased levels of symptom severity.

This, of course, further enhances the perceived degree of stress that is experienced. Obviously, this induces a vicious cycle! It is important for everyone to learn how to better manage stress. It is absolutely critical for those living with chronic illness.

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