Help to Lighten Your Symptoms

Coping with a Chronic Disease

As you probably know, a chronic disease is different from getting the flu. When you come down with the flu, you know that you will likely feel better in a week or so. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, may never go away and can affect your lifestyle in many ways.

Side Effects

With most chronic diseases, pain and fatigue are a daily occurrence. Your daily activities are affected, and you have to learn new ways to accomplish tasks that were once second nature.

Diseases can also cause changes in physical appearance. These changes might make you feel more self conscious and lead you to isolate yourself from friends and social activities. Depression can stem from lifestyle changes, decreased independence, fatigue, or other symptoms you may experience with your condition. Depression is a common side effect of having a chronic disease.

Stress is another common side effect. For example, if you’re no longer able to fully function at work, you might begin to worry about the potential of job loss. Prolonged stress can lead to anger, frustration, and hopelessness.

Taking Steps to Improve Your Life

As your life changes, you might have feelings of uncertainty about what lies ahead, and feel unable to control it. Your chronic disease not only affects your life, it also affects your family members, who might currently rely on you or may need to care for you.

Seeking help early on will help you and your caregivers manage your condition more effectively. Your healthcare provider can design a treatment plan to fit your specific needs and goals. Once you regain a sense of control, it will be easier to improve your quality of life.

We Can Help You Manage a Chronic Disease

If you suffer from a chronic disease, we encourage you to take a Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSM) program. This is a six-week program with discussions on symptom management, nutrition and exercise, communication skills, relaxation techniques, medication usage, self-management, goal setting, and problem solving.

A caregiver or relative is welcome to attend the course with you. They will also benefit from the problem-solving skills related to managing a chronic condition.

We will reimburse CDSM program costs up to $25 for any PacificSource member (excludes cost of booklet, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions). For more information, or to find a class in your area, visit our Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSM) program page.

Free Online Tools and Resources

As a PacificSource member, you can access free online resources powered by WebMD®. To get started, log in to InTouch, and then click on Health Manager.

Visit the Living Healthy section to:

  • Take the HealthQuotient® health risk assessment to identify potential health risks related to your lifestyle.
  • Learn more about health topics, such as chronic diseases.  

If you have questions about your coverage, a claim, or any benefit or service, you are welcome to contact our Customer Service team:

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Last updated 9/4/2013