Your Long-Term Condition Journey


You’ve received a diagnosis, and now you’re beginning treatment for your illness. This can be a time of many changes and unknowns as you learn new routines and begin new medications.

You may feel an improvement in your health, or experience side effects and new symptoms and have to try a new treatment.

While treatment can be a positive experience as your health improves, it can also be demanding, and if it is not straightforward you may find it hard to cope with the symptoms and with the endless visits to doctors and clinics. Your illness may seem to be taking over your life.

This is the time to marshall your resources, to talk to the people around you and tell them clearly what you need now. Most people want to help, but are at a loss to know how. It’s your job to tell them what you need and don’t need.

Thinking tools for explaining what you need

If you want to:

  • develop positive working relationships with health care providers and specialists
  • be seen as a person, not a diagnosis, by your doctor
  • explain how others can support you during treatment

We suggest you try these thinking tools:

Thinking tool for making decisions

If you are making decisions about:

  • treatments
  • which doctor, hospital or clinic to choose
  • procedures

We suggest you try this thinking tool:

Thinking tools for making daily life easier

If you:

  • need to change your lifestyle because of your health condition, but are finding it hard (for example, you may need to adapt to a new diet or medical regimen, take up exercise, find ways to reduce stress, or have to cope with side effects from treatment)
  • are finding that your treatment and medical appointments are affecting your productivity at work, or your home life

We suggest you try these thinking tools:

Thinking tools for managing your treatment

If you need help to get through your treatment – for example, you’re finding it hard to organise all the information, get to appointments, or cope with side effects – we suggest that you try this thinking tool: