Dr. Gary McClain of JustGotDiagnosed.com offers new article on “bad moods” and chronic illness

July 11, 2012

Dr. Gary McClain today released a new article, “Break out of that bad mood,” for individuals facing chronic medical conditions. He discussed the risk to patients when they don´t attempt to understand what´s causing their bad mood and attempt to resolve it, along with guidelines for coping with bad moods.

New York, NY (PRWEB) July 11, 2012

Dr. Gary McClain today released a new article, “Break out of that bad mood,” for individuals facing chronic medical conditions. A specialist in the emotional impact of chronic and catastrophic illnesses, Gary McClain, PhD, developed JustGotDiagnosed.com to address a serious need he saw going unfulfilled; namely, a way for newly-diagnosed patients to receive help in coping with their emotional reactions to their diagnosis. Dr. McClain also blogs on the patient social networking site, http://www.AllianceHealth.com.

McClain described the role the impact that a temporary negative mindset can have on individuals who are challenged by chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, or chronic pain. “I don´t know anyone who doesn´t occasionally, or often, find themselves in one of those moods where you generally feel annoyed, irritated, grouchy. Often, you can´t exactly put your finger on what´s bothering you. If you´re also living with a chronic condition, the emotional and physical ups and downs, and the unexpected challenges that you learn to expect, can leave you that much more vulnerable to a bad mood.”

He discussed the risk to patients when they don´t attempt to understand what´s causing their bad mood and attempt to resolve it. “When you get hit by a bad mood, and don´t do anything to get out of it, you risk sinking deeper into negative territory. This can have an impact on your emotional and physical wellness. And leave you more likely to experience stress. Also, you may end up taking a few innocent bystanders along for the ride, including your loved ones. That´s not a very healthy place to be.”    

He provided guidelines for chronically-ill patients to cope when facing a bad mood, including:

1.    First, talk to your doctor. If you feel your mood going up and down, or staying down, then start by finding out if the cause is physical. Symptoms of your chronic condition, side effects of your medications, your medication schedule, your diet, your activity level, lack of sleep“¦ all of these factors can affect your mood. Start your mood management by having a talk with your doctor and reviewing your treatment and self-care strategy.

2.    Talk to yourself. See if you can figure out what´s wrong. Go off to a quiet place and ask yourself what´s bothering you. Your bad mood may be the result of some feelings that you haven´t acknowledged, or a reaction to an event.

3.    Retreat! Get out of the house“¦ office“¦ etc. A change of scenery can make the world seem a whole lot brighter. Take a drive or a walk, run an errand, go out for coffee. Or just move to a different room.

4.    Talk it out. Call a friend or family member who can be a good listener while you do the talking, who can be supportive and maybe even help you to get to what´s bothering you. Or jump in here and post a discussion.

5.    Write it out. Sit down with a pad and a pen, or a blank computer screen, and write about how you are feeling and why. This might help you to figure out what´s really bothering you. You might see some patterns in your thinking that are contributing to your bad moods.

6.    Work it out. Getting some exercise can help to generate some of those feel good hormones that act as an antidote to all that negativity. Anything that gets you moving, even a little bit, and in a way that is safe and comfortable for you, can at least give you the sense of accomplishment that helps to improve your mood.

7.    Distract yourself. Get your mind off your bad mood by getting involved in something that is calming, and that you enjoy. Music is an excellent distraction. Read a book, watch a movie (be careful what you choose), get out and enjoy nature, or sit in a comfortable chair and look out the window.

8.    Change your self-talk. Hearing your own voice telling you how awful things are? Turn the tape off and replace it with positive messages. Start by asking yourself if things are really this bad. Remind yourself of what´s going well in your life. And tell yourself that moods are only temporary.

9.    Breathe. Take a few calming breaths, tell yourself that you are okay, that you aren´t in danger, that bad moods come and go. Imagine a calm place, a happy memory, someone you care about. Keep breathing. Relax.

10.    Update your gratitude list. If you have to scramble to come up with the positives in your life, then it might help to keep a list. What are you grateful for? Ask yourself this every morning. Write it down. Wrap your mind around it before you get the day started. Smile!

11.    Give to someone in need. We all have people in our lives that could use a little compassion, maybe a few friendly words, a smile, a hug, a phone call. When you give of yourself, you benefit the other person and you benefit yourself. Compassion is a boomerang. And a great antidote for negativity.

12.    Talk to a professional. Mental health professionals are trained to help their clients understand the patterns of thinking that can lead to bad moods, and to learn techniques to have a more positive outlook on life. But a mental health professional can also diagnose any underlying issues, such as depression, and recommend a treatment plan. Don´t go through this alone.

McClain emphasized the importance of having an empowered attitude in managing day-to-day mood swings. “You don´t have to be the victim of your moods. Feelings are only feelings, and we don´t have to be controlled by them or defined by them or otherwise made miserable by them. Try some of the tools I described. See which ones work best for you. Come up with your own personal strategy for breaking out of your bad moods.”

About Dr. Gary McClain and http://www.JustGotDiagnosed.com

Dr. Gary McClain is a therapis, educator, life coach and author who specializes in working with individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic and catastrophic medical conditions, focusing on issues that include coping emotionally, gathering information, making lifestyle and treatment decisions, managing relationships, and communicating with healthcare professionals. As “Dr. Gary,” he blogs on patient social networking boards on http://www.AllianceHealth.com. Founded and developed by Dr. McClain, JustGotDiagnosed.com offers information, guidance and inspiration for newly diagnosed patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals. His program for newly-diagnosed patients, Prepared for the Road Ahead , is focused on the emotional, lifestyle management, communications, and vision for the future. Visit http://www.JustGotDiagnosed.com.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/7/prweb9679639.htm

Source: prweb

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