4 Tips to Help Navigate a Scleroderma Diagnosis

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Being diagnosed with scleroderma can be overwhelming. It’ll take time to come to terms with the diagnosis and you’ll likely experience a range of emotions until then.

MORE: Four of the most important questions about scleroderma

However, there are ways to get your emotions under control. Firstly, it’s important to give yourself enough time to work through your feelings. As the Scleroderma Foundation points out, it’s common and completely normal to ask “why me?”. Anger and frustration are often the first emotions that newly diagnosed patients need to work through. Reaching out to others who are in the same position as you can be helpful and make you feel a little less alone. You can find lots of online forums and support groups that you may find beneficial.

Having a strong support system is important. Friends and family will want to help you so take them up on it — it will prevent you from becoming isolated and closed off.

Stress and scleroderma do not work well together, so it’s in your best interest to try and work through any anxiety you have. If you feel you’re becoming depressed, it’s important you speak to your health care team about treatment options. Your mental health will further impact your physical health.

Look after yourself. This is a time to be selfish and put yourself first. Sclero.org suggests eating well, getting lots of rest and if possible, engaging in gentle exercise. Keep up with your medications as directed by your health care team and attend all appointments. Being proactive when it comes to your treatment will help you gain a sense of control, so take the time to educate yourself about alternative therapies, new medications, and scleroderma research.

MORE: How serious is scleroderma?

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.