Did you know that at least 12 million U.S. adults live with a serious illness? These problems already carry a high mortality risk but can even become chronic. An example is acute coronary syndrome, which can lead to long-term heart damage.
Like severe illnesses, chronic conditions also have high mortality rates. And even if they don’t cause death right away, they can result in long-term disability.
The good news is that there are many ways people can cope with disabling health conditions.
Keep reading, and we’ll tell you all about them below.
Seek Professional Medical Help
Problems such as stroke and heart disease can be immediately life-threatening. Others, like diabetes, can give rise to the need for intensive care if left uncontrolled.
Thus, the first step to coping with a severe or chronic illness is to get medical help. And if your doctor prescribes medications, please adhere to them. Otherwise, your condition will likely worsen, raising your risks for even more disabilities.
Apply for Government Assistance
People living with a disability can sometimes have limited income opportunities. To make matters worse, they have higher medical expenses. It also doesn’t help that the U.S. has one of the highest healthcare costs worldwide, averaging $12,500 per person.
Fortunately, government assistance, mainly through Social Security, is available. You have two options: Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. According to the folks at Benefits Claim, you may even be eligible to receive both.
You might also be able to get healthcare assistance from Medicare or Medicaid. Either can help you pay for medical bills caused by a disability due to your serious illness.
Don’t forget that your state may offer assistance for people with disabilities. A perfect example is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). All U.S. states run this program enabling participants to afford healthy foods.
Never Dismiss Your Mental Health
People with disabilities may find themselves under a lot of constant stress. After all, they worry about their health, work, income, family, and relationships. Such a psychological burden can put them at risk of developing a mental illness.
It’s understandable to feel stressed, but please don’t let it go unchecked. Learning to manage stress, such as being with positive people who support you, can help. It’s also wise to consider seeking the assistance of a mental health provider.
Most importantly, know that you’re not alone; you can talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed. For example, you can rely on SAMHSA’s National Helpline, which you can reach at 1-800-662-4357. The hotline is free to call and operates 24/7/365.
Get Help for a Serious Illness ASAP
Remember: A serious illness can be life-threatening or result in long-term disability. That’s enough reason never to underestimate severe health conditions. Instead, it’s in your best interest to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
If you already have a disability, though, it’s best to seek help from the government. But, most importantly, don’t hesitate to call SAMHSA’s Helpline if you need to talk to someone.
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