Chronic illness and depression often go hand-in-hand. Studies have shown that people with long-term medical conditions are likely to suffer from depression. And family caregivers are also at risk.
It’s easy to see why. Balancing work, family life, and frequent infusions can be exhausting. And trying to remain positive under challenging conditions takes a mental toll. The good news is that depression can be overcome.
If you ACT now, you can make changes that will benefit your family for years:
Acknowledge your feelings. It’s perfectly normal to feel down sometimes. Yet when those feelings persist, it’s time to take action. Acknowledging a mental health issue can be difficult, but talking about your depression with a friend or counselor is the first step toward healing. If you care for a child with a chronic medical condition, you’ll need to make a special effort to help him or her understand that help is available.
Change your routine. Healthy habits are your best defense against depression. Unfortunately, they’re often the first casualty of stress. There are many simple ways to improve your habits if you’re not getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. Try to set your alarm 15 minutes later, pack your own lunch, or take short walk breaks throughout your day. Over time, these small changes will add up to big improvements in how you feel.
Tackle depression together. Although depression leads many people to withdraw from friends and family, it’s important to fight this urge. Staying involved in your community will keep you physically active and build a strong support network. Your ARJ care team is also available to help you find the services you need, including everything from medical treatment to financial relief to emotional support.
ARJ is here for you. Call us at 866-451-8804 to get the support and resources you deserve.