There’s no question about it: coping with a serious illness is a challenge. Emotions can range from fear to anger and sadness, only seconds apart from one another. Confusion, regret, helplessness, and more are all perfectly normal reactions to learning you or someone you love is facing a serious illness. There are five stages a person will generally pass through at some point after diagnosis of a serious condition. To read more about what you might experience or what others have been through, read on for five ways people cope.
1. Facing a Serious Condition
Many people cope with a serious illness by first facing it head-on. There are many ways of dealing with a terminal illness or other serious condition. For some people, the way to tackle it is to proclaim a fight against the end of life and to immediately begin gathering resources to do all they can to beat their illness. This brave group of people will enlist the help of family members to find the best treatment, care, alternative remedies, and more in order to fight a terminal diagnosis and extend their life. Generally willing to reduce their own quality of life temporarily for the hope that they will regain their health, these people juggle the complex emotions of their diagnosis while spending a lot of time with caregivers seeking help for their condition.
2. Researching Options and Second Opinions
Some people cope by empowering themselves with information. Like the fighters who face a terminal diagnosis or serious condition head-on, this group of people is very open-minded about doing their own research and trying alternative methods to help combat their sickness. They will travel far for quality life care, have mastered the use of the internet as a tool for things like ‘how to get rid of weed smell‘ by using a combination of vinegar, baking soda, incense, and a Veil spray when trying new pain management techniques aimed at combatting symptoms, and are never averse to a second opinion. This group of people will generally put off signing up for hospice or palliative care in favor of clinical trials or other life-saving opportunities.
3. Exploring Alternative Treatments
Many people with serious illness cope by giving themselves hope through options. For these brave warriors, the best way to handle a serious condition is to use a holistic approach. This group will do their own research on healthy diets, use edibles for pain management, opt for white vinegar over toxic cleaning agents, and is well versed in the benefits to natural vitamins and herbs.
4. Accepting a Serious Illness
Some people cope best by accepting their illness from the beginning and leaving it in the hands of a higher power. This group will choose palliative care if they believe they’ve done all they can or are more concerned about the quality of life than the ultimate outcome of their chronic condition. This group of people has generally made peace with their illness and believes it’s a good idea to spend the time they have left enjoying friends and family instead of in hospitals and with professional caregivers.
5. Finding Hope and Supports
Most people cope with the help of external supports. From family members to professional healthcare workers, this group is well-versed in online support groups for themselves and family and knows how to reach out for help. They are often helpful to others who have their same terminal condition or illness, too.
There are no right or wrong answers in how you or your family members cope with a serious illness. For many people, coping comes in a variety of ways and all are perfectly normal. It’s not unusual to cope in one way one day and another at a different time when the condition changes or several at the same time. Regardless of your condition or illness, you don’t have to do it alone. Any emotions you’re feeling now are likely entirely normal. If you feel alone, reach out to those supports or your health care team. Coping with a serious illness will be hard, but with hope and supports around you, things will soon begin to feel easier.