When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness...
When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, your life suddenly gets turned upside down.
Knowing there’s no easy cure for the scary and painful symptoms you’re experiencing can change how you feel about your body and self-image, your relationships, work and passions, and the future you’d envisioned for yourself.
Even with the best doctors and treatment available, how will you handle the practical problems, mental limitations and emotional rollercoaster you’re faced with?
No matter if you’re living with MS, diabetes or Crohn’s disease, there can be a lot to figure out:
- Is there anything you can do to ease your pain, boost your energy levels or manage your symptoms better? And if so, how can you start making these lifestyle changes when you’re too exhausted to exercise, head outside or put a healthy meal on the table?
- How do you deal with all the emotions – the sadness, illness-induced stress, health-related anxiety and uncertainty about the future you’re feeling?
- What can you do to tackle practical problems, like keeping your home somewhat clean and organized despite your limitations or getting through the workday when you’re worn-out and in pain?
- How can you still socialize, find a loving partner, take care or your kids and be a good friend when you’re sick and stuck at home so much?
I don’t have all the answers to these questions. But based on my personal experience with chronic illness and my professional knowledge as a psychologist, I want to help you live a good life with chronic illness.
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Hi, I’m Jennifer Mulder, Psychologist & Patient Expert.
I’m a Dutch psychologist with a long history of chronic illness. During my teenage years, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatism, ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. For over 15 years, I spent many of my waking hours stuck at home, struggling with chronic inflammation, whole-body pain, insomnia, brain fog and fatigue.
Thankfully, nowadays I’ve reached my own definition of recovery – although being sick for so long clearly left its marks on my body. There are still plenty of things I cannot do, but I’m content with how far I’ve come. You can view my full story on Raelan Agle’s YouTube channel or check out my e-book ‘How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery’.
Besides learning more about health, psychology and writing, I also love reading historical fiction and fast-paced thrillers, healthy baking and nature walks. You can wake me up for good pizza (but please don’t!) and my dad jokes I have tea running through my veins instead of blood. But most of all, after so many years of being cooped up indoors, I love exploring the world around me with my husband and two kids.
Come say hi on Facebook or Instagram, or follow my favorite recipes and quotes on Pinterest!