Clinical health psychologists differentiate between distinctly different types of coping strategies that are employed when individuals face serious medical challenges. There are two main types of coping strategies: problem-focused and emotion-focused coping.
Problem-focused coping attempts to generate proactive responses to encountering medical challenges. It may manifest in researching effective strategies for the treatment of a medical condition.
Emotion-focused coping primarily involves the experiencing of a wide range of feelings when faced with the consequences of medical diagnoses.
I’ve definitely employed both types of coping strategies in response to my overwhelming, multiple chronic medical challenges. I’m utilizing both types of coping strategies this very morning, in fact.
I certainly am very proactive in researching all available treatment modalities for any given medical diagnosis. Thankfully, my academic training offers a distinct advantage for being able to interpret sophisticated medical information.
Connecting with others who have experienced similar medical challenges is another coping strategy that I actively employ. I’ve joined several online forums devoted to my chronic medical conditions.
Doing so has really reduced the deep sense of isolation that is frequently associated with living with a rare medical condition. It also provides a very practical forum for the exchange of important information regarding treatment providers, surgical options, etc.
In addition, writing this blog is certainly cathartic for me, in so many different types of ways.