How do long-term health conditions affect mental health?

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are looking at how you can look after your mental health if you suffer from long-term health conditions.

Mental and physical health are both intertwined, with one often having an impact on the other. This is especially the case for people with long-term health conditions.

If you have a long-term physical health condition, you are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Understanding why this happens and how you can combat this can help you to manage both your physical and mental health.

What is classed as a long-term physical health condition?

Currently, 15 million people in England have one or more long-term physical health conditions.

Long-term physical conditions are also known as chronic conditions. They are defined as illnesses and conditions that cannot currently be cured but can be managed through medication and treatment.

Chronic conditions can have a big impact on all areas of your life. This includes relationships, work, finances, and of course mental health.

How do long-term physical conditions impact mental health?

Unfortunately, many people with chronic conditions face stigma and discrimination. This can lead to social isolation and low self-esteem, which can both have a big impact on your mental wellbeing.

A physical health condition can also cause symptoms that will have an impact on your mental health. This includes:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Side effects of treatment
  • Flare-ups

These combined with social factors can have a huge impact on mental health. Research has shown that people with long-term health conditions are more than twice as likely to face mental health issues.

Mental health problems can also make it harder for you to manage your physical health condition, creating a vicious cycle.

Ensuring that you have the right support on hand is key.

Getting support

Whilst facing mental health problems is common for those with long-term health conditions, it is not something that you should accept.

Getting the right support in place can have a huge impact.

For many people, mental health support can begin at home. Opening up to trusted family and friends can provide a strong support network that is easily accessible.

More official mental health support can be discussed with your healthcare providers. They may be able to offer additional support for your physical health condition, as well as support for mental health via therapy or medication.

Having more support with your physical health condition can also have a big impact.

At Syngery, we take mental health into account when structuring our care plans. Our nurses work with you and your family to help you manage your symptoms and live your life the way you choose.

If you would like to find out more about our services, get in touch with our team today.

Posted in Mental Health.