Most people assume that chronic health conditions are most often faced by people who are older, but chronic health conditions can develop early in life as well. If you happen to be a teenager who has been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition like lupus, sickle-cell anemia, or diabetes, it can be a difficult thing to face. Even though knowing you will deal with a certain health issue for the rest of your life can be intimidating, there are some things you can do to be okay. Take a look at a few tips to keep in mind to help you cope with a chronic health condition as a teenager.
Get familiar with your illness.
Hearing a diagnosis from your doctor is a scary thing, especially if you do not understand the illness you are being diagnosed with. Your doctor will do their part to explain your illness and what you can expect as you get older, but it never hurts to do your own research as well. Sometimes, the more familiar you are with your diagnosis, the more comfortable you will feel about the situation and what to expect.
Talk about your illness with people who understand your emotions.
It is all too easy to bottle up your feelings about your diagnosis and refuse to talk because talking about your illness can make it feel more real. However, talking about how you feel about your diagnosis can be a good way to make it feel less intimidating. Look for support groups online for teens with the medical condition you have, consider support groups in your area, and open up to your friends and family members about what you are feeling. You do not have to shoulder all the emotions on your own; others can help you cope.
Be proactive about your own medical care.
When you have a lifelong medical problem, doctors become a mainstay in your life. Therefore, finding a good doctor that you like is so important to your general well-being. Of course, you are a minor, your parents have the final say in who provides your treatment, but you can open up about doctors you like and doctors that make you feel the most comfortable. Work with your parents and supply your input about your care. As you get older and start doing things on your own, this will make life with a chronic illness so much easier. Contact doctors, like Dr. Dahl, to learn more about managing an ongoing medical condition.