domingo, 11 de noviembre de 2018

IS THERE DISTRESS ASSOCIATED TO LYMPHEDEMA UNDERTREATMENT – LYMPHEDEMA PSYCHOLOGICAL COPING

Many people who suffer from chronic diseases that entails joint physical, organic and functional limitations like lymphedema, experience some level of social isolation, depression, embarrassment and despair. In many cases what else could be foreseen, if at the same time the condition is untreated or undertreated with ineffective solutions. Patients can't be expected not to have distress and emotional problems, when they are in the dramatic situation of seeing their health condition worsening. The logical procedure is to first solve the problems of access to good treatment, and then manage the psychological distress if it still exists.

How are people affected by lymphedem in Stage-3-elephantiasis, supposed to behave socially? Are they expected to have a happy and merry tranquil life, and serenely accept their tragic future. How can people accept their condition, when being untreated or undertreated with cheap and ineffective programs, which don't work to reduce and restore the limb volume. What quality of life expectancy are people supposed to have, knowing the fatal outcome this disease might await them. Lymphedema is not in itself a psychological problem, nor does it predispose individuals to poor mental health. What lymphedema needs is good compression treatment for reduction and maintenance of oedema, and what influences individuals with neglected and untreated diseases to be frustrated and depressed, is precisely for being medically neglected and untreated. For information on what is the bet treatment for lymphedema:




Psychological distress related to medical conditions is not something new, and no matter what illness or context, the impact of chronic diseases always affect peoples lives, but specially when there are difficulties to access good treatment options. Patients must first access correct treatment for their illness, and then be treated psychologically if needed. Self-car support and activities are important, but lymphedema patients also need at the same time, access to good reduction therapy and compression garments, to control the progression of the disease.


If patients with lymphedema worldwide, including lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis, are being left untreated or undertreated, it's like abandoning people to their fate, a future of progressive swelling towards final stage-3-elephantiasis, characterized by severe disfigurement, disability, and life-threatening complications. In this case, instead of a psychological problem affecting people, it is lack of access to good treatment that provokes the stress factors, which could also be considered a big medical-ethical and social problem too.


References:


Lymphoedema management: an international intersect between developed and developing countries. Similarities, differences and challenges.

Old age people with lymphedema

Interesting document "Podoconiosis stigma scale" that even though focused on Africa, it adapts perfectly to all Primary and Secondary lymphedema alike, to measure the psycholgical impact of having to live with lymphedema.

¿Qué conocemos por discapacidad Física y orgánica? (Spanish) 


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CAMPAIGN
 


For global awareness it is being asked that the 
WHO - WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
name: 
"LYMPHEDEMA - AWARENESS & CURES"
as its World Health Day campaign - 2018

  

  KATHY BATES
LYMPHEDEMA EMBASSADOR


SIGN THE PETITION HERE

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