Receiving a difficult diagnosis is never easy, especially when it involves a condition like scleroderma. The chances are that your diagnosis is the first time you’ve even heard of this auto-immune condition. And, here a doctor is telling you that it’s about to become a massive part of your life.
For some, this early stage becomes a period of preparing to fight, but not everyone feels that way straight off. Some may find that their main feeling is ‘why me?’. And, as they tackle these thoughts, they may fail to deal with that diagnosis without even realising.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s vital to recognise that this failure to cope can keep you away from the best treatment methods. Before things progress any further, then, keep an eye out for the following signs that you’re drowning in your diagnosis.
You’ve avoiding information
The aftermath of a scleroderma diagnosis sees many people madly searching the internet. For some of us, though, even the leaflets our doctors give us are too much. Instead, we boycott the internet and avoid appointments with specialists because we convince ourselves we don’t want to know anything. As cliche as it sounds, though, information is power. The more you know, the better you can both come to terms with your condition and understand potential action. Plus, avoidance here suggests that you’re in denial, and that’s never a good thing. Your best course of action, then, would be to book up with a specialist straight away. It won’t be easy, but it will help you start to come to terms with things.
You’re turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms
It isn’t unusual to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms after a diagnosis like this. You may feel like your body has let you down, and so might take to eating foods you know are bad for you, or even drinking in the hopes of taking back some control. But, given how vital a healthy lifestyle is when you’re coping with scleroderma, this is never good. Making an effort to steer clear of fat-filled sugary foods is a must, as is signing yourself into somewhere like the ANA Treatment Centre as soon as your notice yourself reaching for drink too often. If you need incentive stopping behaviours like these, try as hard as you can to remember that getting your life and health back to a good place will be impossible until you move past them.
You aren’t talking
As with any difficult diagnosis, talking is also vital. If you aren’t doing it, then you aren’t dealing with things as well as you might imagine. Of course, a lot of the thought processes which come after diagnosis are internal. But, if you aren’t talking to your loved ones or your doctor, you’re going to continue to struggle. That’s because talking can both help you to work through your emotions and understand your scleroderma. That, not silence, is what can finally aid you on your journey to acceptance and treatment.
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