To live with a physical condition can have a significant impact on your emotional wellbeing, and if someone’s emotional wellbeing is suffering, this can often have an adverse impact on the way that they take care of their physical health.
In this blog I look at how someone who is living with a physical condition such as hepatitis and diabetes, can manage their emotional wellbeing. I chose hepatitis and diabetes because both seemed to receive little attention compared to other conditions, such as HIV and the various cancers. And yet hepatitis and diabetes can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
The World Hepatitis Alliance states that ‘worldwide 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C, and every year 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis’. A significant number of people with hepatitis also have depression. At a recent Hepatitis C & Chemsex training event for health professionals, a speaker stated that treatment success for hepatitis C (often referred to as the ‘silent killer’) is relatively high but the following issues can often arise –
Diabetes UK states that 6% of the population in the UK is living with diabetes. According to Dr Mark Pemberton, in an article in the Spectator, there is a greater risk of stroke for those who have type 2 diabetes. In addition, ‘people with diabetes are four times more likely to have cardiovascular disease’ and ’20 to 30 per cent of people with diabetes’ have damage to the kidney filtering system. Statistics also show that a significant proportion of people with diabetes have depression.
How can a counsellor or psychotherapist help?
If we accept that physical and emotional wellbeing is entwined, what are the different ways that a counsellor or psychotherapist can help someone who has a physical condition such as hepatitis or diabetes?
I hope you find this helpful.
Chris Warren-Dickins BACP Registered Counsellor
Counselling and coaching blog