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Medical Illness

Have you been recently diagnosed with a serious medical illness or disability? Perhaps you have been living with a diagnosis for many years. Are you dealing with ongoing, tedious and painful medical tests and procedures? Chronic pain? Trauma from dealing with red tape and insurance agencies? Social isolation? The strain of feeling displaced because of moving from home to hospital? Do you struggle with needle phobia? Anxiety about procedures?

Do you find yourself thinking:

“This is so unfair!!”

“Why me?”

“I feel like everything is out of my control!!”

“How can I find the strength to get through each day?”

“Will I ever be happy again?”

When we’ve endured chronic medical illness, it can be easy to dismiss the serious impact it can have on our mental health. However, it’s common to experience sadness, frustration, hopelessness and anxiety after struggling with serious medical issues.

We may experience physical symptoms such as:

  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Feeling sad, irritable and anxious
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, guilty or worthless
  • Losing pleasure and enjoyment in our previous passions
  • Aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive issues that don’t have a clear cause

Chronic or unexplained illness can cause many of these feelings. Even the treatments themselves can leave scars, both physical and emotional. People with chronic medical conditions demonstrate a higher risk of depression and anxiety. And the medications prescribed for various illnesses can exacerbate existing or burgeoning mental health issues.

Coping with any or all of these things makes those battling a wide variety of medical illnesses highly prone to repeated trauma and the development of anxiety and depression. We work with doctors and physicians to take care of our physical bodies and ailments, but treating our mental health requires a different type of specialty.

It can be challenging to diagnose mental health concerns in the medically ill, and it’s important to work with a trained professional to diagnose and treat them properly. Psychotherapy is a healthy, effective way to work through the negative mental and emotional effects of chronic medical illness.

EMDR can assist with recalibrating the central nervous system, restoring function and minimizing suffering; so that those who are already enduring rigorous medical treatment can experience relief from additional mental and emotional pain.

“As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an EMDRIA Certified Therapist, I have extensive experience in traditional methods of psychotherapy as well as advanced higher-level training and expertise, that are extremely effective in treating a variety of patients with different backgrounds.

Whether it’s finding ways to manage the strain and daily burden of care, or dealing with loneliness and pain, I can provide you with the tools to help you overcome any mental health repercussions of living with chronic illnesses or medical trauma.

If you think you may benefit from a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation, or are ready to pursue treatment for your trauma symptoms, contact me today.”

Reach Out If You Need Help

Need to know how to have that tough conversation about how you're feeling?

There are resources for you.

Reach Out If You Need Help

Need to know how to have that tough conversation about how you're feeling?

There are resources for you.

Kristina de Bree, MA, LMFT

Kristina de Bree is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) with a private practice in Valencia, California. She is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant, meaning she is certified at the highest level to both practice and teach EMDR. She specializes in trauma and trauma-related disorders.