Many medical conditions have a psychological component, meaning that they can have a profound effect on the way people feel, think, and behave. People may feel frustrated or hopeless due to a medical condition, and may stop engaging in meaningful activities, or struggle to remain connected to friends and family. Others may have trouble implementing behaviors that may help them with their medical condition, such as taking required medications, exercising, or eating according to a specific dietary plan.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that displays symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. It is said to affect 10-15% of the population.
Chronic pain is a pain after an illness or injury that persists for months or even longer. It can consist of discomfort, soreness, tightness, stiffness, or even shooting, burning, or aching. Chronic pain can lead to other symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, or anxiety.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome appears in symptoms such as fatigue, memory and concentration difficulties, unrefreshing sleep, and exhaustion lasting 24 hours or longer after mental or physical exertion. It is estimated that approximately one million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but about half go undiagnosed, as it can be difficult to diagnose in patients.
Migraines are severe headaches that consist of unilateral or bilateral head pain that often involves throbbing. It often includes sensitivity to light, sounds, certain smells, nausea, and even vomiting. They can last anywhere from four to 72 hours, can occur multiple times a month, and can begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, blood in stool, rectal pain, and more. In addition, it is common to experience weight loss, fatigue, and difficult defecating despite urgency.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, stiffness, sleep difficulties, fatigue, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, migraines, and problems with thinking and memory, often referred to as “fibro fog.” Fibromyalgia is fairly common, affecting about 10 million people in the United States alone.
Sexual Dysfunctions affect an individual’s ability to initiate, engage, experience, and enjoy sexual activities. Some examples include premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, female orgasmic disorder, and erectile dysfunction.
How CBT Can Help
CBT therapists educate clients about their diagnosis and about CBT, help them set goals, and teach essential thinking and behavioral skills. CBT techniques for medical conditions focus on helping clients evaluate beliefs about their disorders related to hopelessness and discouragement and implement behaviors that promote good health and improve overall quality of life.
Finding a Therapist
Our clinician directory can help you find a competent and compassionate certified CBT therapist near you.
If you are in crisis or in need of immediate assistance, please make use of the below resources or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
Crisis Text Line: 741741