Many people with lipoedema struggle with the diagnosis and with the fact that it cannot be cured. It can also take a long time to get your diagnosis of lipoedema.
Social media reinforced the beauty ideal of a slim body. This makes it even more difficult to accept your body that differs from this picture. Low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression are common in women with lipoedema. Therefore, lipoedema might affect your daily work and social life, your relationships, and your leisure activities. However, mental distress can worsen your lipoedema symptoms, especially the perception of pain. Depression and stress disorders are associated with higher pain intensity. Therefore, you should not be afraid to seek psychological support. Here are a few options you can consider:
- Choose a one-to-one dialogue with a therapist
- Join a peer group
- Learn about self-help tools and self-management
Therapeutic concepts based on mindfulness techniques or ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy‘ (ACT) can improve mental well-being and increase psychological flexibility.
Another concept combines psychological support with techniques that focus on your body and its relation to feelings and sensations. This is called ‘Embodiment-focused therapy’ and is known to have a calming effect.
There are different strategies for psychological support. Talk to your HCP to learn more about different strategies, and you will find out which one can support you. Most important is that the relationship between you and your HCP is based on empathy and understanding of what you are going through.
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Claudia Lymphoedema patient