Life can be unexpected at times. There may be instances where something unexpectedly good happens to you, such as landing a new high-paying job. On the other hand, there may be times when life can bring you unpleasant surprises, such as being diagnosed with a serious medical condition. 

This can leave many in shock, not knowing what to do or how to cope with the terrible news. The following are some tips for how to cope. 

Learn more about your condition 

Ask your doctor to tell you as much as he or she can about your medical condition. Make a list of questions to bring to each medical appointment so you can be efficient with your limited time available with your healthcare professional. You will also want to research as much as possible in-between appointments so you can have better questions to ask. 

The more you learn, the better prepared you will be for what is coming next. You will also be able to make changes to your lifestyle and behaviors that could be beneficial to treating your medical condition. 

Express your emotions 

It is normal to have strong emotional responses to receiving serious bad news. Allow yourself to feel these negative emotions which can include fear, sadness, anxiety, and anger. If possible, talk to family members or close friends you are comfortable with expressing what you are feeling. You may also want to talk to a professional therapist who can help you process your emotions. 

Prepare a support network 

Depending on your particular medical condition and your psychological response, you may be hampered in doing the normal activities you need to do to take care of yourself. Asking close friends and family for help with transportation, financial assistance, preparing meals and other things may be somethings to consider. 

Also, connecting with others who are afflicted by the same medical condition can bring comfort in knowing you are not alone in this experience. There could be support groups already in existence you can contact. 

Alter your lifestyle and habits 

In several instances, it may make sense to adopt healthier habits that could help you recover and treat your ailment. This could mean changing your diet or making sure you exercise more. It could also entail avoiding activities and situations which cause stress. Speaking to your doctor will help you determine what lifestyle changes you will need to consider making. 

Have realistic expectations 

Make sure to avoid unreasonable goals when it comes to recovery from your condition. Being unrealistic in your expectations of yourself can lead to feelings of failure, frustration, and despair. This could ultimately set your recovery back instead of helping. 

Find purpose and meaning 

Lastly, it does no good for your recovery efforts to become despondent and depressed. Many people are able to soothe these feelings by finding purpose within this dire situation. Focusing on what brings you meaning can allow you the psychological comfort you need to continue on a successful recovery.


Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.