Living with long-term illness

People with long-term physical health conditions have an increased risk of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.  Mental health problems can then make it harder for you to cope with your physical health condition.


If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a long-term illness you may be feeling shocked, scared and overwhelmed.

Living with an illness can be all-encompassing and it can be difficult to cope with new demands and limitations put on your life, and fear of the future. The important thing is to try and take life slowly, and recognise there will be good days and bad days.

Some of the emotions you might be feeling may include:

Looking after your mental health

If you are experiencing these feelings it’s vital to acknowledge them and talk about how you are feeling. Often people can try to suppress their feelings so as not to upset others, but this can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing and be a huge burden for you to carry on your own. Asking for support from family and friends will help you get through the difficult days ahead.

If you are feeling depressed or anxious and unable to cope you may want to seek professional help from your GP or a trained counsellor.

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  • Coping with difficult emotions

    As well as talking to someone you might like to try some different ways of managing these feelings such as:

    • Writing them down
    • Meditation
    • Deep breathing
    • Listening to music
    • Spending time in nature
    • Exercise or stretching if you are able
    • Finding support groups
    • Setting small, achievable goals
  • Coping with pain

    If you are in pain, cognitive behaviour therapy may be able to help you manage your response to this.

We're here to listen...without judgement

Contact our free, confidential, emotional support service for the legal sector
0800 279 6888
Email our support team [email protected]

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