How To Keep Your Head Up Through The Diagnosis Process
We all have different experiences with our diagnoses. Some of us have to wait several years, see countless doctors, and do numerous different tests before getting some answers. Others are diagnosed faster.
Regardless of where you are on this journey, the fact is that getting a diagnosis is hard and it most often comes with an emotional rollercoaster: sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness, fear, overwhelm, hope, uncertainty, and the list goes on. This is of course normal and part of the process of coping with such big news.
A new perspective
Reflecting back on my own diagnosis journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself, what it means to get a diagnosis and how to approach everything that comes with it. Keeping your head up and creating a supportive and positive space will help you through this long and tiring process.
Below I am sharing a few thoughts that might offer a different perspective to anyone who has been diagnosed, or who is currently going through the diagnosis journey.
Why a diagnosis is important
It provides peace of mind to know what is causing your symptoms. It helps you connect with the right specialist for the management of your personal health history and condition. It helps you connect with others who are dealing with the same challenges (such as this great community!). Finally, it can help you understand how progression might look like as well as symptoms and signs to be aware of.
Information is power
Learn about your condition and treatment options, to become an informed and proactive advocate for your health. This will empower you to take control of your health where you can.
Take it slow
If you have to make changes to some lifestyle aspects of your life (such as diet, movement, medication, etc), take your time and be patient. Make changes in phases as you feel comfortable, supported, and on the path to progress. One step at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed with your next steps.
Build your support system with family, friends, and practitioners that you trust. Connecting and having a place to share your experiences will help you as you navigate the ups and downs of the diagnosis.
Reframe the negatives
Give your energy and thoughts to what is good and positive in your life. Observe what has or can be expanded into opportunities for growth by your experience. A diagnosis can mean that you now have an action plan for treatment and management.
Your health is a lifelong journey
While the diagnosis is a warning sign that something is out of balance in your body, it’s also an opportunity to invest even more in your wellness (something you will never regret!). It's a journey that will last and offer you lots of insights and learnings. You will learn to listen to your needs, and engage in experiments to find what works best for you to restore your health.
What have been your experiences and learnings through your diagnosis journey?
Which period are you currently in?