Module 6

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Module 6

Category: Coursework

Subcategory: Nursing

Level: Academic

Pages: 3

Words: 825

How Chronic Health Condition Affect the Ability to Age in a Healthy Manner
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How Chronic Health Condition Affect the Ability to Age in a Healthy Manner
Introduction
Chronic illness significantly affects lifestyle, emotional life, self-esteem and social ties, education, and physical well-being of the patient (Christie & Khatun, 2012). As the illness continuously develops, it leads to peer groups’ isolation. It may cause the blossoming of friendships and increase parental dependence. Compared to their healthy peers, young individuals suffering from chronic illnesses experience a lower quality of life, as well as family structure disruption. The level of anxiety depression is twice as high among chronically ill young people compared to their healthy peers.
Risk Factors
Numerous chronic complications can bear cognitive effects. Children suffering from sickle cell have been proven to have reduced cognitive functioning abilities whereas those with diabetes suffer the risk of slow processing speed, memory impairment or forgetfulness, diverted attention, and reduced verbal intelligence (Christie & Khatun, 2012).. Other chronic ailments like epilepsy also affect an affected individual depending on the type of anti-epileptic treatment being administered. The potential effects include reduced memory, learning difficulties and reduced processing speed. In additional, research has proven that cancer survivors have declining IQ with different cognitive effects whose severity depends on the age of diagnosis, treatment type and duration of the disease.
The effect of the chronic illness on daily activities such as mobility, personal care, and communication determine the level of functional independence. Effects cut across the course of chronic illness, and the effects are specific to every disease. It may be challenging for a chronically- ill child to attend school due to the existence of physical symptoms and consecutive hospital appointments that negatively affect the patient’s attendance, attitude and motivation towards school, performance, as well as the inability of participating in sporting and recreational activities (Christie & Khatun, 2012). There is a hustle for children suffering from chronic illnesses when it comes to catching up on class work, thus scoring poorly to average scores in exams and thus poor future career choices. Furthermore, missing school strains children’s’ relationships with their peers, for instance, re-initiating friendships when they resume schooling as well as the hustle of responding to questions on the cause of their absence and their illness.
Psychological effects of people suffering from chronic illnesses include daily hassles such as daily injections, medical appointments, special dietary requirements, home schooling, and the possibility of parents abandoning full-time employment for caregiving responsibilities. Other stressors include perceived stress, negative life events, maternal depression, as well as neighborhood disadvantage. Poor marital satisfaction is experienced among parents, especially mothers experiencing negative moods and emotional distress while struggling a lot to adjust to the situation.
Psychological Impact of Chronic Illness
Different factors affect the psychological toll that chronic illness takes on a patient. Such factors include the type of illness, the level of severity, and type of treatment. The individual’s ability to cope with the illness also depends on their personality, life circumstances before the illness and the available social support structures (Lain, 2015). The initial psychological stages include denial, shock, and disbelief of any wrong. However, there is reduced ignorance as the symptoms persist. There exist feelings of fear and anxiety as regards future uncertainty; and probable loss of unrealized goals becomes a cause for depression, sadness, and sadness. More losses take the form of relinquishing tasks and responsibilities leading to feelings of guilt and inadequacy. An chronic affected patient also develops sensitivity to the fact that he/she may become a potential burden to his/her loved ones and thus arouse feelings of anger, shame, and possible resentment.
Relinquishing of one’s sense of previous independence reduces their self-worth, self-esteem, and self-image resulting to an identity crisis. An affected individual suffers from feelings of loss of status, control and power that initially filled a healthy, functioning, and capable person. Family and friends may even stigmatize a chronic illness patient and the most obvious reaction from the patient would be withdrawal and isolation. She/he further delves into feelings of rejection, abandonment, and loneliness. The individual then reacts by apportioning blame and self-punishment on self for acquiring that condition. The emotional consequences coupled with daily pressures of coping with the actual illness may lead to hopelessness and helplessness feelings.
Support and Impact of Friends and Family Relationships
Family and friends are adversely affected during the various stages of the illness and may require support. The family members are also trying to contend with the fact that their loved one is chronically ill. There may be some remarkable changes in roles and responsibilities of some friends or family members that can lead to the good person feeling powerless to the chronically ill individual (Lain, 2015). There is also a drastic alteration in the lifestyle and social functioning of the caregiver who sometimes feels anger or sadness for losing an individual prior to illness. Sometimes parents and children or teenagers may be angry at each other during diagnosis as the young ones may blame the parents of ‘causing the illness’ through the passing on of ‘bad genes’ or not attending early doctor prognosis sessions. Some challenging issues such as intimacy, friendship management, and companionship may also arise.
Often, anxiety and fear arises over the level to which the disease is chronic and how it would deplete the physical, emotional, and financial resources. The caregiver may feel resentment, isolation, and resentment as more attention is diverted towards caring for the chronically ill person. Family and friends can be in a position to support only if they are in a position to overcome the ongoing stress, to flexibly circumvent uncertain situations, and attain effective communication abilities. It is crucial that primary caregivers seek guidance and support required from nurses to enable them better manage the chronically ill.
References
Deborah Christie and Hasina Khatun (2012). Adjusting life to chronic illness. The Psychologist. Web. Retrieved From <https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-25/edition-3/adjusting-life-chronic-illness> [Accessed 8, October 2015]
Deborah Lain (2015). Transcending Illness. Soulspring Counselling. Web. Retrieved From <http://www.soulspringcounselling.com/illness.htm> [Accessed 8, October 2015]