n Mental Health Matters - The psychological impact of a chronic physical illness




Melanie is a 33 year old attorney with a thriving legal practice. She is happily married and the mother of two boys. For a long time she has been feeling tired and struggling to concentrate. She has suffered from muscle and joint pain and has also lost interest in any sexual relationship with her husband. She hasn't been concerned about these symptoms and simply attributed them to being busy at work and looking after two young children. However, recently Melanie has had severe pain in the mid-to lower portion of her back and her husband suggested she book an appointment with their GP. After another week of trying to manage the pain with over-the-counter medications, she finally made the appointment. She saw her GP and was told that she is suffering from stage 3 Kidney Disease. She is in shock and initially denies it and tells the doctor she must be mistaken. Melanie asks for the tests to be repeated. Her doctor concedes but assures Melanie the results are accurate. She is numb with shock and leaves the GP's office without even asking a single question about her diagnosis or what it will mean for her future.


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