Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic illness can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. You may feel sad, depressed, or anxious as you contend with the implications of the illness. 


However, we also know that you can live a full and meaningful life with a chronic illness. We have seen clients adapt to their illness and go on to live amazing lives. A chronic illness can even act as the impetus for living in greater alignment with your values. 

How does chronic illness impact mental health?


Mental health issues commonly co-occur with chronic illness. This is due to both physiological factors as well as mental, emotional, and social factors that can contribute to mental health challenges:


  • feeling alone and isolated because no one seems to understand what you are going through
  • conflict and disconnection in your relationships
  • distress due to inability to participate in activities that you once were able to
  • feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information you receive from clinicians, friends, family, and other resources about managing your illness
  • feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or powerlessness  
  • anxiety about health and the future
  • financial stress
  • feeling like a burden or failure
  • damage to self worth and identity
  • difficulties in parenting


How can counselling help with chronic illness?


In addition to providing a safe space to share your experience of illness, counselling can help you to:


  • adjust and adapt to symptoms
  • manage your energy,
  • grieve losses
  • explore changes in identity
  • communicate needs and boundaries
  • manage stress and emotional dysregulation that can exacerbate symptoms
  • deal with interpersonal challenges
  • manage anxiety about the future
  • address trauma related to your illness
  • develop lifestyle habits to support your mind/body
  • find meaning and fulfillment in your life 

Additionally, research has shown that there is a link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and chronic illness later in life, so it may be appropriate to address past trauma and its resulting impact on the brain in order to help with the management of chronic illness.


Chronic illness counselling in Calgary

Individual counseling can help you navigate your chronic illness journey with compassion and understanding and adapt to your illness so you can lead and full and meaningful life. 


Monarch Psychology offers individual counseling both in-person and online with a free 15-minute phone consultation.


Contact us today for more information.

Our Chronic Illness Therapists

Devany Benis
Nicole Caines