The Complex Relationship Between Chronic Diseases and Mental Health

Author(s): Anil Rao

Chronic conditions and mental health have a complicated and reciprocal interaction. Longterm medical issues that are the hallmark of chronic diseases have a negative influence on both physical and mental health. This article highlights the psychological consequences experienced by people with chronic disorders and provides an outline of the relationship between chronic diseases and mental health. Living with a chronic illness frequently causes emotional problems, such as depression, worry, irritability, and fear. Increased incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders are a result of the difficulties associated with managing a chronic ailment, as well as the uncertainties it brings. Additionally, chronic illnesses can reduce a person’s quality of life by limiting their capacity to engage in regular activities, uphold social connections, and pursue important objectives. Chronic illnesses also significantly affect a person’s identity and self-esteem. Feelings of self-consciousness, humiliation, and a loss of self-worth may result from these illnesses’ visible physical restrictions or changes. In the setting of a chronic illness, redefining one’s identity and adjusting to a new self-image can be difficult processes. Additionally, people with chronic illnesses are more likely to experience mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance addiction disorders are just a few of the problems that can develop or worsen as a result of the stress and mental strain of managing a chronic ailment. Beyond the individuals, the psychological effects also have an influence on their careers, who frequently deal with a great deal of stress and hardship. Complex biological and behavioural factors underlie the link between chronic illnesses and mental health. Genetic factors, neuroendocrine dysregulation, and chronic inflammation all have an impact on both physical and mental health. The psychological anguish that people with chronic diseases feel is also influenced by psychosocial factors such chronic pain, disability, a lack of social support, financial stress, and lifestyle changes. It is critical to acknowledge and address how chronic illnesses affect mental health. Healthcare systems ought to use integrated care strategies that take both physical and mental health requirements into account. Within chronic illness management programmes, routine screening for mental health issues offers early detection and intervention.