By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.
When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, the doctor might give you an overview of the common symptoms associated with your illness, but often these are physical manifestations – pain, fatigue, swelling, even brain fog. Many of us are then surprised by all of the emotional side effects that accompany our illness. For me, the many years I spent being very ill but undiagnosed triggered the onset of depression and anxiety. I felt alone, scared, and judged by my friends at school who didn’t understand why I sat out during P.E. every day.
Even though many of us experience a significant change in our mental and emotional state after developing a chronic illness, we’re not always given the same run-down of potential emotional side effects as we are physical ones. Doctors may prescribe various medications to treat bodily symptoms, but what about our thoughts, our feelings, our relationships, our identities? In order to get a better understanding of how chronic illness can affect a person as a whole, we asked our community to share the emotional symptoms or side effects of illness that surprised them.
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