Positive. One word that usually has good connotations, but when it comes to an HIV diagnoses, it’s devastating to hear. After a positive diagnosis, patients can be overwhelmed with emotions ranging from fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness.
One of the ways patients can use to combat these emotions and feelings of helplessness is to start journaling. It’s hard to deny the health benefits of journaling, but how can journaling help a patient cope with an HIV diagnosis.
This post looks at how journaling helps and what benefits it has.
Coping With an HIV Diagnosis
Following a positive HIV diagnosis, a patient will be given a range of medicines that slow the progression of the virus in their body. In other words, they cope physically by taking these medications.
Seldom, though, the treatment plan contains treatments for the patient’s emotional well-being. The effect of the emotional roller coaster following the diagnosis, up one day and down the next, can be severe. Thus, patients often struggle to cope psychologically with an HIV diagnosis.
Patients must find ways to cope with these feelings. One of these ways is journaling. But how does it help to cope?
How Journaling Helps Patients Cope
As said earlier, an HIV diagnosis brings with it severe psychological distress. By journaling patients can minimise these feelings.
Patients can, for instance, clarify their thoughts and feelings. Being diagnosed causes a lot of confusion with patients being anxious one moment, and angry the next. This vicious cycle takes its toll, ultimately, impacting the health of the patient. By clarifying their thoughts, patients can get in touch with their feelings and emotions. The result is that they learn to recognise what they’re feeling and how to deal with it.
A diagnosis can be stressful, and journaling is an excellent way to manage stress. Tying in with clarifying their thoughts, patients can explore their full range of emotions, and release tension while writing. They can also apply gratitude through writing which has been proven to improving quality of life.
It’s clear that journaling decreases psychological stress, and it can boost a patient’s overall sense of emotional well-being. Unsurprisingly, journaling not only improves psychological well-being but physical health as well. It’s been proven to reduce physical stress and to improve a patient’s immune system, all of which is extremely important when diagnosed with HIV.
Start Journaling Today
Coping with and after an HIV diagnosis can be daunting. By starting journaling, patients can alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with it and face the challenges life delivers.