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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology


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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2017 January-February;176(1-2):57-66

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.16.03182-X

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Can you live happily with a chronic illness?

Paola MANFREDI

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy


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This paper is adressed to doctors who work with patients who have chronic or incurable disease. For most of the people physical health would seem one of the main assets. Faced with a diagnosis of degenerative disease, incurable, chronic, with a simplistic syllogism it could be argued that if good health is the main element of a good life, deprivation of health involves a bad life and so there is no attrattive to keep on living. The question is: what’s the meaning of life? Many people would answer that we want to be happy. Then we could rephrase the question asking if you can be happy with a chronic illness or which resources are required to live in the best way you can in that situation. The author considers the definition of happiness and the association between that and health/disease. Are highlighted some personal characteristics that can help patients to cope with the disease. A major part of the unhappiness of the people with chronic and / or severe is linked to the consequences of the disease, especially in the loss or reduction of social relations. The patients have different availability of building relationships, but at least there is one significant opportunity on meeting: with your doctor. The doctor may use this channel to comunicate to patient the lifestyles and self-care, which look to the positive way and to the chance to live happily even in sickness.


KEY WORDS: Chronic disease - Happiness - Physician-patient relations - Psychological resilience

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Publication History

Issue published online: November 21, 2016
Manuscript accepted: July 25, 2016
Manuscript received: April 2, 2015

Cite this article as

Manfredi P. Can you live happily with a chronic illness? Gazz Med Ital - Arch Sci Med 2017;176:57-66. DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.16.03182-X

Corresponding author e-mail

paola.manfredi@unibs.it