Chronic Illness Specialty

Chronic Illness is Trauma.

It is complex and sometimes life-threatening and it interrupts the continuity of our lives. Trauma and chronic illness both have lasting impacts on our sense of identity, our relationships, our careers, our goals, and quality of life. 

When you are given an ambiguous diagnosis and no certainty about treatment, you go through a continuous process of grief: constantly recognizing everything you’ve lost and longing for what life used to be, uncertain if it will get better or what tomorrow will bring. You may be ready to explode, or not have the energy to even get frustrated; you just know your life is not the way you want it to be, and somewhere in the background you don’t even know who you are anymore.

Many chronic physical and mental illnesses are “invisible”, meaning other people don’t see and understand the impact the illness has on us every moment.

Well meaning friends and family may encourage us to: “Think positive. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Buck up and deal with it.”

Over time the disease becomes a part of yourself, your identity, and degrades what you think and feel you are capable of. Because we don’t feel good physically, our view of self starts to morph and eventually the disease changes our lifestyle, our goals, our perspective on who we are and how we live our lives. It’s not all in your head, it’s in your body, maybe in your brain, and this “disease mentality” is not your fault you’ve felt bad for so long. In our work together, we reconstruct and reestablish your sense of self and identity.