You’ve Been Newly Diagnosed With a Chronic Condition: Now What?

Your condition is incurable, and will likely stay with you for the rest of your life. You may be feeling sad, devastated, and like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet. Your life likely won’t be as carefree as before and there are many sacrifices to be made.

We understand what you’re going through (from our own limited perspective), and we can empathize with your pain. Shasta Hickman Counseling offers compassionate counseling and therapy sessions to help you cope with pain, grief, and loss. We’d like to give you some suggestions on how to move forward constructively.

Digest the diagnosis

Give yourself time to process the news and adjust to the change. It’s overwhelming, and you won’t make your peace with it in a day. It’s important to take heart and retain a sense of control – don’t let the condition dictate your life, grasp the reins firmly instead. Your attitude is everything, and self-care and self-support will determine the quality of your life moving forward.

Get to know your condition

Fear may try to worm itself into your psyche, make you think in terms of worst-case scenarios, and erode your sense of hope. You should counter it with knowledge. Talk to your doctor and nurses and inform yourself on your condition. Stark Library offers a good list of sources of medical research. When you know it inside and out, you’ll know what to expect. More importantly, you’ll know how to navigate it properly. There is always hope.

Don’t isolate yourself

People who suffer from chronic conditions have a tendency to isolate themselves, says Pathways. Try to surround yourself with positive people, whether that’s friends or family, who care about your wellbeing. It will ease your pain, provide you with emotional security, and give you a reason to keep going.

Team up with your doctor

Your doctors and nurses can’t be responsible for your health. They can and will advise you and tell you what to do, but to follow their advice (or not) is in your hands. Don’t put the responsibility for your well-being into someone else’s – it won’t work. Make your caregivers a part of your support network instead.

Make lifestyle changes

You will be expected to make many lifestyle changes, depending on your condition. You may not be able to do the activities you once enjoyed. The road you have to walk is hard. But don’t let that stop you from walking it. Take steps on the path, however small, and keep going. Not making changes is only prolonging the inevitable, and it will only get harder the more you put it off. Make your health – mental, emotional, and physical – a priority.

Get your finances in order

Sort out your financial situation – chronic conditions can be expensive to manage. Protect your assets, explore your insurance options, build an emergency fund, and educate yourself financially. When you need more money for medical care or related expenses like home modifications, you can raise funds quickly by refinancing your home. Furthermore, if you’re a veteran and have a VA loan, you should be able to opt for a VA IRRRL refinance. It’s easy to apply to, lets you lower your mortgage payment, and comes with a short closing time. Get VA refinance rates today from Penny Mac.

Think about your future

Being human is a terminal illness, and your chronic condition may wake you up to this reality, whatever your long-term prognosis. Now is a good time to make some tough calls about your estate, namely how you want to distribute it, and your end-of-life care. Planning ahead will save your friends and family from heartache down the road.


It’s only when it’s threatened do we realize how precious and priceless life actually is. Make the most of the time you have left – and try to be grateful you have time left. Do the things you always wanted and make good with the people in your life. A spiritual or religious practice, or a counseling session, can equip you with faith and hope and is worth looking into. Don’t let your chronic condition stop you from living your life to the fullest.

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