5 Things to Do After Getting a New Diagnosis
After receiving a new medical diagnosis, it can seem like your life, as you know it, is over. While it’s just a label, diagnoses are more than just words. Putting a name to your symptoms may be a relief, but may simultaneously elicit emotions like fear, sadness, or confusion. You might question what to do next and ask – where do I go from here? Here are five things we recommend doing after getting a new diagnosis.
Allow yourself time to process the news.
You’re going to need to take time to process your new diagnosis, especially if you’ve spent a long time seeking answers to your medical questions. Allow yourself the space to feel the feelings associated with the diagnosis. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed or a host of other emotions. If you need help processing your circumstances, there’s also no shame in reaching out to loved ones, friends, or a therapist to help you navigate your feelings.
Get the facts.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to understanding your health. The more you can learn, the better. Seek information from reputable sources like medical journals, healthcare websites, support groups, or your provider. Your newfound knowledge can provide comfort, reduce confusion, and empower you to make informed decisions about your treatment and potential lifestyle changes.
Build your support system.
Many people feel isolated after getting a new diagnosis. While this is common, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with; you don’t have to face it alone. Building your support system is another step toward wellness, so start identifying loved ones and professionals who can provide a unique role in helping you transition to a new chapter in your health journey. Some people in your support system may provide emotional support, while others help with more practical things that make your life more manageable.
Amidst learning more about your condition and identifying how others can help you, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care is the most important thing to do after getting a new diagnosis, no matter how big or small an impact it has on your life. Here are some tips:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Reduce your stress by outsourcing tasks where possible and eliminating unnecessary obligations on your calendar.
- Practice mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing.
Utilize your providers.
Consult with your healthcare team to explore different treatments and the options’ benefits, risks, and potential side effects. Consider seeking a second opinion if you have reservations or uncertainties, but always have regular, open conversations about your health with your current provider. While not every doctor is suitable for every patient, there is someone who can help you. Your providers are there to find a care plan that moves you closer to a healthy well-being, so utilize their knowledge. The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners at Balance Psychiatric Services can provide psychiatric evaluations and medication management services, so reach out to schedule an appointment if you’re looking for quality mental health care!