Coping with Chronic Illness

A chronic illness changes your sense of self, your identity, some of your dreams and your life as you knew it.  When you are first diagnosed and receiving overwhelming information regarding your condition and treatment, you are usually scared and anxious.  Coping with an invisible disease also has challenges as people do not understand what they cannot see and both you and others may judge you because you are not able to do what you used to do.

 As you begin to process the information about your condition and how it may limit your life, you may feel depressed.  These changes are all major life losses and trigger grief responses.  When you have a chronic illness, you will have many different feelings as you deal with this life changing event.

The purpose of the provided handouts listed on the right side of this page is to assist you as you are coping with this unwanted condition.  An Employee Assistance Program Professional at 815-753-9191 is available to talk with you as you are accepting and adapting to living with a chronic illness.  

There are additional handouts that may be helpful in Coping with Anxiety, Depression, Grief, and Stress.

Support is very important as you begin to learn about your disease and how it affects your life.

Click here for information on the NIU EAP Chronic Illness Listserve Support Group:


For more information on this and other topics, please visit the WebMD website at
Please note that Northern Illinois University is not affiliated with WebMD and provides this link and any information contained within on an as is basis.