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Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses last at least one year, require ongoing medical care, or limit one’s daily activities. They include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, stroke, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, kidney disease, and others. Many adults live with more than one of these conditions. The lifestyle changes these conditions demand, the stress they cause may lead to anxiety, anger, and/or depression. People with a chronic illness have a higher risk of depression than others, and their depressive symptoms are typically more severe.

Chronic Pain

A therapist treating patients for chronic pain will often work in tandem with their medical doctors to make sure individuals’ medical and emotional needs are being addressed. Once a practitioner has learned all they can about a patient’s physical and emotional state, they will design a treatment plan for that individual, which may involve teaching relaxation techniques, making lifestyle alterations, enhancing coping skills and addressing feelings of anxiety or depression.

Sleep or Insomnia

Sleep disorders (or sleep-wake disorders) involve problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning. Sleep-wake disorders often occur along with medical conditions or other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or cognitive disorders. There are several different types of sleep-wake disorders, of which insomnia is the most common. Other sleep-wake disorders include obstructive sleep apnea, parasomnia, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.

Sleep difficulties are linked to both physical and emotional problems. These disorders may contribute to or exacerbate mental health conditions and can be a symptom of other mental health conditions.