1) Can you tell us about your long term condition?
I suffer from inflammation of the liver and stomach and side nerve pain in the body and sciatica. I have had these conditions for around 6 yrs.
2) What are the main difficulties of having the condition?
The inflammation affects my eating habits and can also make me tired, also the side pain can be frustrating and painful.
3) How does the condition impact on your quality of life?
It can bring me down and be upsetting and sometimes cause anxiety, it can make it hard to look after my day to day life.
4) How have you learnt to manage the condition?
I have learnt to manage the condition by working on my diet and stress management and reaching out to holistic ways to ease pain like massages and yoga. I try to ensure I get rest whenever I can and also I have learnt to accept that it may not go away and I will be ok.
5) How does having the condition affect your mental health, and how do you cope with this?
It can cause me to be tired which can make me slightly ratty and down, but I have learnt to accept the condition and that worrying about it has no purpose. I recognise the more I think about the thoughts the more the symptoms can become worse, so I learn to challenge my thoughts about my health and focus on what I can do to improve it.
6) Have you learnt techniques to manage the condition better?
Yes I do meditation, yoga, eating healthy and affirmations.
7) Apart from medication and self-help techniques is there anything else you find has been important in allowing you to manage the condition?
Yes having support from my family and talking about it not too much, and recognising it is nothing to worry about. Also I have learnt to accept it is not all of me just a part of me.
8) Do you think how you view the condition helps or hinders the way you deal with it?
Yes if I view it negatively it makes my symptoms worse as my attention is only on my health. So I don’t think about it much now.
9) How do you cope with the not so good days with your condition?
I try to rest however this is hard with young kids but I prioritise what I can and cannot do, I try to identify the trigger for the flare up and also try not to overload my digestive system and accept it will ease up.
10) What would you like to tell other people about what has helped you to manage the condition?
I would say challenge your thoughts about your health if it is bothering you and remember it is not all of you. There are other areas of your life to concentrate on that can bring you enjoyment which can take your thoughts away from the pain. Also self-care is vital and support and sleep amount and quality.
If you would like support looking after your mental health whilst dealing with a long-term condition, you can call us on 01952 457 415, or fill in the form here, to arrange an assessment.