The Emotional Dimensions of Managing Chronic Disease

The complexity of living with a chronic illness such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s or cystic fibrosis doesn’t stop at managing the illness. In fact, those living with a chronic illness are twice as likely to develop depression and anxiety as compared to those who do not have a chronic condition. The impacts of these challenges extend to caregivers and the healthcare industry as well. People living with chronic conditions often experience emotional stress and chronic pain, which are both associated with the development of depression and anxiety. There is some evidence that the more symptomatic the chronic physical condition, the more likely that a person will also experience mental health problems. How can we support those living with a chronic illness? What new treatment options and social supports are available to ensure those living with chronic conditions and mental health challenges get the support they need when they need it most?