You've Just Been Diagnosed, NOW WHAT?

You might have been going back and forth to see the doctor for a while now, worried about some symptoms or concerned about how your were feeling, or you may have been oblivious to any issues... until your doctor mentioned a concern regarding your health. Either way, recieving a diagnosis for a health condition can be extremely scary. No one wants to be unwell, so it’s natural to panic when you receive a diagnosis that you didn’t want to hear.


Knowing what to do in the wake of a diagnosis can be daunting; you feel anxious, confused, and angry, and it’s easy to struggle to know what you should do. The important thing is to do what feels right for you; after being told that you’re unwell. Whether it’s a serious short-term illness or a chronic health conditions, it’s never easy coping with the news. However, there are steps that you can take to try and make managing a little easier.

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Being diagnosed with a new health condition is overwhelming, but you can - and will - manage the situation, it’s just a case of knowing how to approach things. Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to some steps that you can take to make coping a little easier.


Ask lots of questions


When you’re first told about your health condition, you might not know what questions to ask, and that’s perfectly fine. It is, after all, a rather overwhelming situation to be in, and one that can be rather difficult to think clearly in. However, if you start coming up with questions afterwards, don’t be afraid to ask them. If you’ve been given the number for a specialist nurse, give them a call and speak to them about your concerns. Or, find out if you can schedule a telephone consultation so that you're able to ask questions that need answering.


It might help to write any questions down as and when you think of them; that way when it comes to speaking to your doctor you won’t forget anything important. What you want to do is make sure that you can build a clear picture of what your diagnosis means for you and your life, so that you can move forward and adjust to life with the condition that you now have.


Do plenty of research


After a diagnosis, take the time to properly understand the condition that you have. If you want to learn more about your health, start by reading any information that your doctor has given you, and then go from there. If you come up with any queries while reading the information, jot them down and ask about them. Understanding your condition can make coping with it far more manageable as you know what to expect.


If you want to research your condition online, make sure to use reputable and reliable sites to complete your research. If you’re unsure where to look for information, consider speaking to your doctor and asking for their advice on useful sites to use. You could also look for a related charity, as charity sites usually include all of the key information about a condition.


Speak to your friends and family


After receiving a medical diagnosis for a health condition, share the news with anyone who you are close to. It’s vital to get the support that you need, and speaking with your nearest and dearest is a good way to go about doing that. You might not feel like telling everyone all at once, and that is perfectly fine - take your time and share your news as and when you feel comfortable doing so.


If you find yourself feeling anxious or panicked, consider speaking to one of your close friends or family members about how you are feeling. Being anxious about your health is a really horrible situation to be in, and it can be extremely difficult to cope with the feelings that come with it. However, by sharing how you are feeling with your loved ones, you can make it a little easier for yourself.


Make managing your condition a priority


After a diagnosis, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to actually taking care of your health. The key should be making sure that you are managing your health condition and your general health - both mental and physical - as a priority. Of course, knowing how to do that is sometimes easier said than done, isn’t it? However, the fact is that you can - and will - cope, you just need to get to grips with what’s what.


If you’ve been prescribed medication to help manage your new health condition, it can be rather tricky to adjust to taking lots of different tablets. However, there are plenty of ways you can make managing a little simpler and easier for yourself. If you’ve got lots of tablets to take on a daily basis, you might find using a service like pre-prepared medicines boxes an option worth considering. Or, you might find that using a health app can help you to stay on top of what tablets you need to take and when. The key is to find a strategy that works for you.


Find support


Find the support that you need to help you on your journey. Friends and family are great sources of support but the fact is that unless they’re living with the same condition that you have, they won’t understand what it means to have the diagnosis that you have had. Taking the time to find support from people living with the same health condition as that you have can be a great way to make coping easier.


If you are unsure where you can find support, speak to your medical team about what support groups there are available. You should find that there are a few local groups that you can become part of. Another option is to look online on social media for support groups - Facebook has the most support groups available. Look for a group that is a good fit for your needs, and will allow you to feel like you have the support that you need to better manage your condition and your diagnosis.


Being diagnosed with a health condition is not something that's easy to cope with, especially when there’s a lot to think about and consider. It’s a lot to get through, and so it’s no wonder that a lot of people struggle. However, what it’s important to remember is that you can - and will - manage the situation. It might take time for you to adjust to your new reality, but you will get there.