Coping With Disease

Actor Michael J. Fox has become known for more than just his work in the entertainment industry. Since being diagnosed in 1991, Fox has battled Parkinson’s — the second most common neurodegenerative disorder behind Alzheimer’s. It currently affects 1.5 million, with no racial, ethnic, or gender-specific targets. When disease strikes — especially one that’s degenerative — it can leave you feeling depressed, scared, and uncertain. But as Fox proves, being diagnosed with a disabling condition doesn’t have to disable your will. Check out these coping strategies applicable to any situation when your health is at stake:

Avoid isolation. Consider counseling or support groups. Both can provide valuable feedback and camaraderie, allowing you to share your experience and feel connected to others who empathize.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition and fitness will only aid your journey, so don’t let the diagnosis dictate your prognosis. Healthy living can make a world of difference in the quality of your life, sick or not.

Retain a sense of humor. While there’s nothing funny about illness, you can improve your mood, attitude, and even physical status by throwing laughter into the mix. Nobody else has the authority to pour amusement on your situation but you; let that be a point of empowerment… an opportunity for you to find courage, strength, and emotional healing.

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