Coping With a Difficult Medical Diagnosis

A patient talking to her doctor about a serious medical diagnosis.Being diagnosed with a serious or chronic medical condition can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. You might feel sad, angry, anxious, or any number of different emotions, possibly all at once. This can be challenging to deal with on top of the symptoms you already experience as a result of your condition. However, there are effective strategies you can use to cope with this diagnosis and maintain as stable and positive of a state of mind as possible. These include:

Accepting your illness: It may be tempting to ignore the diagnosis or try to make yourself forget about it. While it’s important not to excessively dwell on your condition at every moment, it’s also important to consciously accept the current situation and do the best you possibly can.

Developing a plan: Once you’ve come to terms with your diagnosis, one of the most helpful steps you can take is to develop a plan of action. No matter what kind of condition you’ve been diagnosed with, part of this plan should involve working with your doctor to find an appropriate treatment plan that can improve your symptoms or potentially lead to a full recovery. If your condition is terminal, it’s also important to determine what steps you’ll need to take to ensure your family has future financial security and support.

Forming a support network: You may find it helpful to have trusted people to talk to about your thoughts and feelings regarding your diagnosis. These people could be loved ones, friends, or other important people in your life.

In addition to these steps, you may find it beneficial to speak with a licensed psychiatrist, who can provide you with a safe space to talk about your condition and help you to learn useful coping mechanisms to work through your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way. You can schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic by calling (718) 670-5316.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.