5 Ways Counseling Can Help You With a Medical Diagnosis

Receiving a medical diagnosis isn’t something to just “deal with” or “get over.” It’s an event that can create many additional issues, especially when it comes to your mental health. However, counseling can help in many ways, including the following.

1. Expressing and Working Through Your Feelings

A medical diagnosis brings about many thoughts and feelings, including fear, guilt, shame, and doubt. If a traumatic event is responsible for your diagnosis, you are also dealing with the effects of the event.

Trying to talk to loved ones or friends can be helpful at times, but if they can’t relate, it can end with them saying hurtful things – even if they are trying to be helpful. Counseling provides a safe, non-judgmental space to express your feelings and receive validation for them.

2. Making Necessary and Healthy Adjustments

Most chronic illnesses and conditions require adjustments. It could be anything from eating healthier and exercising to finding the finances to cover procedures or even getting a will together.

No matter what adjustments you need to make, they can be overwhelming and difficult to manage on your own. However, counseling can help you identify the necessary changes, help you make a realistic plan for these changes, and support you through the process.

3. Addressing Any Co-Occurring Issues

Many medical diagnoses can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, these mental health challenges can worsen your physical symptoms and condition. Counseling can help identify such potential challenges early and either help you prevent them or manage them if they have already become a reality.

4. Learning Stress Management and Symptom Relief Techniques

Stress has a very negative impact on your health, so it’s not going to be helpful if you are already fighting a chronic illness or condition. Unfortunately, a medical diagnosis can create stress or increase your current stress levels. Through counseling, you can learn helpful stress management techniques that can improve your overall health. Counselors can also guide you through techniques that can help reduce the symptoms you suffer from due to your illness or condition.

5. Improving Identity and Self-Esteem Issues

Often, the changes that an illness or condition cause the sufferer to feel lost and struggle with self-esteem. They may feel they no longer have a purpose, especially if the diagnosis means they can no longer work their current job or spend time at the park with their children or grandchildren. This can lead to identity issues and a sense of floundering, which can cause further stress and self-esteem issues.

For example, if a personal trainer has built their life around working out and helping others do the same, an injury or other medical issue might mean they can no longer be as physical. As such, they are unsure of what to do next and struggle with purpose.

Counseling can help you cope with such issues in healthy ways. It can also help you discover a new purpose, adjust your current one, and help you find the self-worth you need to push forward – regardless of what might try to hold you back.