Some of the following information is from Rest Ministries:

What is a chronic illness?  Types of chronic illness:
How does one define chronic illness? A chronic illness can be anything from diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, lupus, and even cancer. If it affects you for more than a few months, it’s often considered chronic. Despite the fact that the majority of the USA population looks rather healthy, statistics show that nearly 1 in 2 people have a chronic condition.

At Rest Ministries there are all kinds of illnesses represented, including the many people who have an autoimmune illness or chronic fatigue. Some examples are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It may be a condition such as osteo-arthritis, chronic migraines, or back pain from a car accident. Even those with cancer may find there are life-long side effects of the treatments and extreme fatigue.

What is invisible illness?
According to the 2002 US Census Bureau 96% of illness is invisible. This means that these people do no use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy. As the founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week held annually in September, we believe it’s important to remind people that many of those who live with illness look perfectly healthy and yet may be in deep pain.

It’s a time to educate those who do not live with illness about how to encourage a chronically ill friend; it’s a time to bring those with illness together and allow them to feel validated that their pain really exists; and it’s a time to increase communication and understanding between those with illness and those who care about them.

What do you mean by “chronic physical condition”?
We’ll define a chronic physical condition as a health problem that lasts over three months, affects your normal activities, and requires hospitalizations and/or home health care and/or extensive medical care. Chronic condition is an “umbrella” term.  People with chronic physical conditions may be ill or well at any given time, but they are always living with their condition.  Some examples of chronic conditions include (but are not limited to): asthma, diabetes, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, chronic pain, chronic migraines, macular degeneration, and more. Even though these are very different illnesses, families dealing with any chronic condition have a lot in common.  Learning to live with a chronic condition can be very challenging for a child, for parents, for siblings and friend, and for caregivers.

Does HopeKeepers® Indy deal with depression, mental illnesses, suicidal tendency?
Though depression can sometimes be a symptom of chronic illness, HopeKeepers® Indy is not an appropriate group for clinical depression, mental illness, or suicidal tendencies.  These conditions are best managed under the supervision of credentialed professionals.  Please check our “Recommended Links” menu to find referral websites.



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