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Experience With Chronic Illness - Essay Sample

3 pages
771 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
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Chronic Illness and Disability (CID) conditions have become a prevalent issue in the lives of many individuals. In the United States, almost 50 million people have physical, sensory, and psychiatric incapacities that restrict their daily activities. Also, it is estimated that around 8 million people with CID are unable to work or attend school leading to the need for the government to provide income support. That is why this coverage aims to define my experience with individuals with CID in my family. Further, it entails what motivates me to work with the patients and how social workers view them differently than the general public would.

Dealing with individuals with CID has been a challenging experience that requires ones outermost effort to help and care for the patients. In my family, my father and younger sister suffer from such. For my sister, she has sickle-cell anemia while my father is diabetic. Chronic illness leads to increased stress as the person suffering cannot be able to cope with daily struggles regarding well-being, body integrity, and independence. Therefore, it is stressful for both the patients and the people attending to their needs. There is the necessity of constant supervision concerning whether or not the person has taken medication and if it is the correct dosage. Furthermore, the care associated with CID is stressing. For instance, my younger sister does not know the time she has to take her medication. I have to be there to give her the drugs and make sure she is alright thus having breaks at work and school to attend to her. Also, there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to medication of the patients since medical care varies from patients to patients. It is not clear how the illness will affect my sister since her diagnosis was made before the manifestation of signs and symptoms.

People with chronic illness experience a lot of pain, fear, and distress. With constant or recurrent episodes of agony, the patients end up losing control, which can affect social relationships leading to isolation as it invokes invalidating responses from the people around them. An example is my father who continually feels fatigued, experiences high blood sugar and has headaches; during such episodes, he requires time alone to avoid being upset by anyone. As such, it involves a lot of patience and understanding to handle individuals with CID since one may confuse their behaviors as acting out. Even more, many individuals with CID are stigmatized continuously. Stigmatization leads to stress and reduced self-esteem, which causes the individuals to withdraw from treatment and rehabilitation programs (Joachim & Acorn, 2016). It is, therefore, essential to work and engage with these individuals to encourage them to live a better life free from stress by taking medication. The other motivation is to help in the research and studies of how to cope with individuals with CID. Through working with the patients, it is easier to understand the needs, care, and attention they need, thereby making it easier to aid in studies dealing with CID individuals.

Social workers view individuals with CID differently and try to empower them than the general public would in various ways. One of them is counseling the patients; the general public neglects the individuals with a chronic illness while social workers are offering casework to them. The other is offering social support, which includes emotional sustenance to grant comfort and a cognitive provision that involves educating people about the illness and how to handle chronic illness cases (Joachim & Acorn, 2016). Another way in which social workers view patients differently is acting as caretakers. They supply medication and treatment to the people with CID and furthermore get involved in their rehabilitation programs. Therefore, social workers can reduce the stress experienced by the individuals thus decreasing the physical symptoms of illness and enhancing survival.

Most importantly, the knowledge from lectures, readings, videos, and assignments has shaped my understanding and awareness of individuals with CID significantly. It has enabled me to know the importance of providing the patients with relevant medical information. The approach allows decreasing anxiety and depression, as well as denial experienced by the individuals (Joachim & Acorn, 2016). Additionally, the knowledge has informed me why it is vital to teach people with CID adaptive coping skills, which allow them to face stressful incidences they experience on a day-to-day basis. The capabilities include social, physical and vocational information, which permit the successful functioning of the society.


Joachim, G. L., & Acorn, S. (2016). Living with chronic illness: The interface of stigma and normalization. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive, 32(3), 37-45. Retrieved from

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