Whether you are the person living with a chronic illness or you are the caregiver of a loved one with chronic illness, life is often difficult. It may be difficult to find happiness or joy in life. Anxiety and depression are often issues and questions about reasons to continue may come to mind from time to time. Feelings of guilt and resentment often arise.
As someone who has lived through chronic illness and pain and as the primary caregiver for others living with chronic illness, Dr. Campbell is especially familiar with the challenges that come with both sides of this issue.
Over time, with most chronic illnesses, there are changes in a person’s abilities. Whether it is someone living with Parkinson’s disease who can no longer button a shirt, or someone coping with diabetes who has to follow a special diet, or someone with Alzheimer’s disease who can’t remember who you are, caregivers have to adjust to the needs of the care receiver. Caregivers may experience many kinds of losses: loss of independence; loss of control; loss of the future as it had been imagined; loss of financial security; loss of the relationship as it once was; loss of freedom, sleep, and family harmony; loss of someone to share chores and other tasks with; or simply the loss of someone to talk things over with. Persons with chronic illnesses also have to adjust to many of the same losses, but also—loss of dignity, mobility, a carefully planned future or retirement, a loss of roles that were played, or the loss of a sense of worth (all depending on what disability is associated with the illness).