Acceptance and Hopelessness
There’s some really interesting discussions taking place around the impact that a diagnosis can play in the path of physical conditions.
That’s a fascinating concept. How can ‘naming it’ change anything for a physical condition?
Clearly a diagnosis can be valuable in knowing what the appropriate course of action is. However, with many of the conditions I work with, a diagnosis offers no clear course of action, or begins a long journey of ‘failures’.
Often people remember how they responded when they first got their diagnosis. Many people talk of feeling relief (and often vindicated) when they finally get a diagnosis. Finally there is an answer and proof that it isn’t all in their head. However if the diagnosis also comes with news that ‘there is nothing you can do about it/there is no cure’ etc then that relief can very quickly give way to hopelessness.
So both hopelessness AND acceptance can be influence the course of an illness.
As the serenity prayer** points out that the wisdom is knowing the difference between what you CAN influence and what you can’t.
When it comes to the conditions I work with, I would put them in the category of things you absolutely can have an influence over. The people I work with are courageously changing the things they can change – their health.