Navigating Mental Health Challenges with Invisible Illnesses

Did you know that some health conditions can affect you deeply, even though you might not see any physical signs? These hidden challenges, known as invisible illnesses, often go unnoticed but can have a profound impact on both physical and mental health. As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s essential to shed light on the link between invisible illnesses and mental well-being, and explore how you can take proactive steps to prioritize your health. Join us as we uncover the hidden struggles and empower individuals to seek the support they need for improved health and happiness. 

Understanding Invisible Illnesses

Being disabled doesn’t necessarily mean the person must use a cane, walker, wheelchair, or other supportive device. Many individuals live with invisible illnesses, where symptoms may not be visible to others but can significantly affect their daily lives. 

Adults with disabilities report experiencing frequent mental distress almost 5 times as often as adults without disabilities.  If your mental health gets in the way of your daily activities for at least 14 days in a month, please consider scheduling an appointment with HJAHC’s behavioral health counselors. 

Invisible illnesses encompass a wide range of conditions, from common ailments like heart failure and diabetes to more obscure disorders such as lupus and fibromyalgia. 

Studies show that over 50% of individuals with autoimmune diseases also experience depression and anxiety, yet many go undiagnosed and untreated. For those with disabilities, it is more important than ever to take the necessary steps to care for your mental wellbeing. 

Taking Action for Your Well-Being

Seek Support: Schedule appointments with healthcare providers and mental health professionals to access comprehensive care tailored to your unique needs. 

Build a Support Network: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, or support groups to share experiences and emotions with. Search for groups on Facebook, Reddit, or other social media platforms to meet communities of people who understand your struggles. 

Practice Self-Care: Engage in stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to manage the emotional impact of your condition. Find a hobby that you’re passionate about that captivates your attention.  

Eileen, a resilient patient at HJAHC who is paraplegic, works with Sam Malestein, LCSW, for her mental health treatment. “Muscle spasms drive me crazy. Now I know that when I concentrate on something I enjoy, like painting, they go away,” explained Eileen. Finding a hobby that excited Eileen became a tool in her self-care practice, ultimately making a positive impact on her wellbeing.  

How HJAHC Can Help

At HJHAC, we understand the impact of invisible illnesses on mental health. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and support to help you manage your condition and enhance your quality of life. 

Prioritize your mental health by scheduling a behavioral health appointment at HJAHC today. Call 609-278-5900 to take control of your mental well-being and embark on a journey towards healing and resilience. 

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