Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Coping With Chronic Illness

Ladies and gentlemen, may I draw your attention to the following article; Coping Wth Chronic Illness
It is adapted from the book 'After The Diagnosis', by Dr. JoAnn LeMaistre.

I stumbled across it, some time ago, but have only recently got around to reading it.
It's not exclusively about cancer, but about chronic ilness' in general.

It was these couple of paragraphs, right at the beginning, that kept me reading.

The Pollyanna approach is typified by -- and fueled by -- personal stories or
testimonials of complete recovery from extreme illness or disabling conditions.
These stories tug at the heartstrings and catch the fancy of all who read them.
Besides creating false hope by overplaying the likelihood of complete recovery,
these stories consistently underplay the sadness and feelings of worthlessness
that are part of the legacy of any physical or emotional trauma.
Sometimes, it is useful in social situations to present yourself as a Pollyanna. When
meeting new people and situations, it may be an advantage for you to let others
think you have mastered your disease. The anxiety of other people is reduced by
not having to confront illness. The danger is that this Pollyanna image may
create a barrier between you and the people who can offer real help.

Ask anyone with cancer (or anyone with any serious illness, I suppose), and I guarantee that they will completely relate to this 'Pollyanna' approach from others.