Health

5 Ways to Cope with Your Diagnosis

A new diagnosis can be incredibly scary. You feel a whirlwind of emotions, and sometimes you don’t know what to do. Take it from someone who has quite a few under her belt, although it feels like it more often than not, it’s important to remember that all hope isn’t lost. There are a few things you can do to cope with your diagnosis.

Note, these are just five tips that I’ve tried in the past to help me cope and carry on each time I’ve received a new diagnosis. I hope even one of these can help you.

Ask Questions

It may be hard to ask anything when you first receive your diagnosis. Use follow up appointments to ask your doctor for more information. Learning what to expect and how to best help yourself is important. It can ease any fears you have of at least make things more clear. Asking questions gives you an idea of how your doctor can help you. Bring someone with you to your appointments. They will act as your second set of ears and can help communicate your concerns when you can’t.

Research

Learn more about your condition and arm yourself with information. Of course, be careful when researching and locate reputable sites for your information. Also look at message boards for and by people with your condition. Users of these boards often provide greater insight and help you recognize symptoms doctors might not be knowledgeable about. Twitter chats and other online forums can also act as a great support system.

Wallow

Lorelai Gilmore recommends it for breakups; I recommend it for a new diagnosis. A new diagnosis is upsetting and it is absolutely okay to honor those feelings. You can wallow for a few minutes or several hours. If you find it lasts more than a week or so, or you’re having a hard time, you might consider talking with a professional about your feelings as depression is not uncommon.

Self-Care

After learning about your new diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed, scared, hopeless, or all of the above and more. This one is hard but super important. Self-care looks different for everyone but doing it, at least in my experience, can help make things a little less overwhelming. Take time to do activities that make you feel better. Watch your favorite show or movie, visit or call friends, or read that book you’ve been putting off. Taking care of yourself is crucial, especially if your condition is worsened by stress.

Reach Out

Going this alone isn’t good for you. Talk to someone you trust about this, lean on your friends, or ask a family member if you can vent. Having a support system will make this easier to handle. If you are able or have the resources, consider speaking to a therapist. Support groups online or in-person work wonders too. Whether with friends or a professional, reaching out and talking to someone about your new diagnosis can help you work through the feelings and better cope with the unexpected.

Receiving not so good news from the doctor is rough. Although it seems impossible to handle right now, remember: you might not feel like it, but you are stronger than you know. Take it a day at a time. You can do this!

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