Dr. Raymond Rezaie Discusses Chronic Illness

Montreal doctor Dr. Raymond Rezaie

March 17, 2021

Living with a chronic illness can be extremely difficult. Chronic conditions not only cause physical pain, but can affect people emotionally as well. Dr. Raymond Rezaie, a Montreal physician specializing in the management of chronic illness, has some tips for how to live with one of these conditions.

Approximately 133 million people in the United States are living with a chronic condition. This represents about 40 percent of the population. These conditions include everything from cancer to diabetes, pulmonary disease, mental illness, hypertension, heart disease, and many more.

Dr. Rezaie says that although there are different management methods for each of these conditions, they do share some similarities. All of these, he says, can cause daily pain and discomfort for the people who experience them. And of course, most of them do not go away. They simply require ongoing care. This can cause emotional and financial distress.

But the good news, says Dr. Rezaie, is that there are management techniques for such conditions.

The first thing he recommends is to build a solid support system. This might be easier said than done for some people. But a support system doesn’t just have to consist of family. It can also include medical practitioners, friends, caretakers, and others who suffer from the same condition.

A support system is all about finding people who are willing to help patients navigate the often emotionally-fraught journey of chronic illness, says Rezaie.

Another helpful way of managing a chronic condition is to learn as much about it as you can. This includes talking to your medical team, reading helpful sources online, and talking to others who have the same condition.

Rezaie says that this can help patients feel more prepared and in control as they navigate their condition.

Lastly, he says, make a plan to manage the emotional toll of your condition. Be prepared with the knowledge that you might have periods of depression or anxiety. Consider preparing ahead by finding a therapist.

If your condition has you thinking about death, don’t be discouraged. Instead, channel these thoughts into productive actions. Some people find it helpful to put a plan in place such as making their will and even making provisions for their death. Rezaie says this doesn’t mean you’re giving up — it means you’re coming to terms with the future, even though it is hopefully the far future.

Living with a chronic condition can be frightening and overwhelming, says Rezaie. But with the right tools, it doesn’t need to consume your life.