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How to Support a Friend Who's Just Been Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness

July 9, 2018

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness, defined as a long-term condition that in most cases has no cure, is something that flip lives upside down. A person just diagnosed with a chronic illness is often grappling with symptoms, starting treatment, implementing lifestyle changes, and coping with the enormous emotional impact of their new reality.

Having a friend who was recently diagnosed with a chronic condition is a tough situation (though not as tough as theirs), as you may have trouble finding the right things to say. You might even be wondering if there’s anything at all you can say or do that will really help.

To answer that question, there absolutely is: Being a supportive presence in your friend’s life can actually influence how well they can manage their illness both mentally and physically.

5 Recommendations:

  1. If you hear about your friend’s diagnosis through the grapevine, let them take the lead on telling you.
  2. Study up on the condition so you can make your friend’s life easier through your actions.
  3. Ask your friend what they need or the best way to help them instead of assuming.
  4. When your friend brings up their problems, practice the art of active listening instead of immediately offering advice.
  5. Be as flexible as you can when it comes to making and keeping plans.

Via Self