The Power Of Community When Dealing With A Chronic Illness

People who are dealing with a chronic illness face dozens of obstacles every day – from financial difficulties and coping with pain and discomfort to the struggles of trying to deal with everyday tasks.

But the challenges are not the only difficulty.

Amongst the challenges comes the sense of isolation. Often excluded from the activities most people take for granted, loneliness can be a real problem for many.

the power of community

The importance of being part of a community should not be underestimated as a method for coping with chronic illness. With the internet at our fingertips, a supportive network is available to everyone. You merely need to know the right place to look.

There are dozens of online communities that allow you to connect with people all over the country and across the globe.  If you or someone you know is dealing with a chronic illness, consider the enormous benefits that come from being part of a community, and make an effort to reach out.

This is why community can be so powerful.

Connect With People Who Truly “Get It”

While our loved ones can be a fantastic help and do their best to support us, most likely, they don’t truly understand what it is like to live with a chronic illness day after day. Unless you have gone through something yourself, you can’t comprehend what it is like for that person.

Connecting with people suffering from the same illness as yourself can be an incredible relief. They truly get it. They understand your pain, your symptoms, your fears and challenges in a way that others can’t.

The power of community

Often, being able to talk with someone who really understands and acknowledges your experiences is an incredible relief and eases the sense of isolation you feel.

Get Advice From Those Who Have Been There

While it is essential to consult with your doctor regularly when living with a chronic illness, it may be impractical and expensive to visit or call every time you have a question or issue.

Instead, your chronic illness community can offer essential advice, tips, and recommendations from their own experiences.

You can discuss side-effects, symptoms and therapies with those who have gone through the same.

While your community shouldn’t replace sound medical advice, it is helpful to see what has worked for others. You may receive tips and recommendations on doctors, medicines or treatments that you hadn’t considered.

At the very least, you will have a group of people willing to listen and empathise.

Help Others In Need

Helping others is one of the key ways to ease loneliness, depression and helplessness.

It can be all too easy to become wrapped up in your own problems when living with chronic illness. You may feel as if you have little to offer.

But being part of a community of those suffering from your condition provides a precious chance to be of service, also to feel valued and valuable.

You may even find it worthwhile to volunteer with organisations dedicated to helping those dealing with chronic illnesses like yours.

Embrace All Your Communities

While the old saying, “It takes a village,” refers to raising a child, it is relevant to all aspects of life. Humans are social creatures, and we need each other to get by.

Make use of your communities wherever you find them. Whether it is your friends or family, online support groups, or communities like SwatheMe – you don’t have to suffer in silence or power through alone.

Looking For Community?

It can be tricky to know where to start with such a wealth of information on the internet. A great place to start is the Swathe.me website. We have lots of helpful information.

If you are specifically looking for support related to a form of Cancer, then the Cancer Society website has plenty of avenues to explore. You can click here to find more information.

You can also search NZORD – for rare conditions or support for young people dealing with chronic illness through the Skylight Trust.

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