Medically Related Disorders
TREATING THE WHOLE INDIVIDUAL
Therapy can be useful in treating a person suffering from an emotional disorder that was caused by an illness, by physical disability, or by pain.
Physical illness can wreak havoc on the mind, as well as on the body. Pain, as well as the temporary or permanent loss of bodily function, the shift in life-style, and the change in self-image that accompany illness are all powerful enough to cause emotional reactions. Some typical emotional reactions to physical illness include depression, anxiety, regression, and an intensification of the desire to be cared for.
If serious, temporary emotional reactions can develop into illness-related disorders. Individuals predisposed to emotional instability or with histories of mental illness are at greater risk. Unfortunately, these kinds of emotional needs are frequently overlooked by caregivers, who either view the clinical picture entirely in terms of physical disability, or who do not view themselves as equipped to deal with the emotional or mental health needs that are related to physical pain, illness or disability.
Medically related disorder therapy can be a bridge to health for patients whose illnesses have created secondary emotional problems. Additionally, a therapist can work closely with a patient’s physician to coordinate care, to manage mental health concerns, and to help facilitate connection to community resources and to family.