How to Manage Stress Among Meningitis Patients
Living and dealing with meningitis can be a stressful ordeal. The symptoms can initially present as highly similar to Influenza such as headache and fever, and because of this, some inexperienced doctors may fail to diagnose meningitis.
Back in 2012, thousands of people received contaminated steroid injections for their back pains. Most of the patients who received the infusion were advised to wait for symptoms that would indicate that they have fungal meningitis. This waiting game is causing unnecessary stress for patients. What’s worse, is that many of the people who become anxious about their health condition start to feel symptoms of the disease even if they don’t have it or end up with a false positive. What happens to them then? They receive a wrong diagnosis of meningitis, and this leads them to undergo unnecessary treatments that further weaken their immune systems. For those who do accurately test positive, the stress and anxiety of waiting only worsened their conditions.
Given this, people need to manage their stress levels when dealing with meningitis. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Trust the Doctor
The key to managing the stress around the condition is for patients to develop a healthy relationship with their doctor. This relationship means that both the patient and the doctor are open to how the treatment process will proceed. Once there is patient-doctor trust, it is easier for the patient to accept the treatment modalities that the doctor prescribes. Patients should never hesitate to ask their doctor about their present condition and the prognosis of their disease.
Focus on Treatment
One of the significant causes of stress among meningitis patients is the fixation on their condition that hinders their complete recovery. A patient who often thinks about the seriousness of their situation rather than on how they are improving can end up reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
Those diagnosed with meningitis may worry about becoming a burden on their family and friends. They don’t realize that having loved ones around can help them in their healing process, not only with their physical condition but also with their mental health. When patients nourish their relationships, they barely have time to stress over their situation, and this can help them to improve their condition rapidly.
Hydration can help manage symptoms, and it can also help you manage stress levels. Unknown to many, hydration can help keep stress levels down. Our body relies on water to function optimally. Once you lack water in your body, your body won’t be able to work well, and that can cause stress. Several studies have proven even being half a liter dehydrated can significantly increase cortisol levels, which is responsible for your stress response.
Industry 4.0 has paved the way for technological advancements such as wearables to address much of people’s health concerns. Wearables, such as TouchPoint, have made it possible for people with high levels of stress to manage their anxiety effectively. This science-based technology uses gentle, haptic micro-vibrations to reduce stress levels, allowing individuals to calm down. It has been widely used by patients with an autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and insomnia.
Meningitis, as it is, can be quite challenging to manage, and if it is further complicated by stress, patients can have an even harder time dealing with their conditions. As such, stress reduction should be mandatory.
*This blog post was written by Khazen Ali.