What is a long term condition?

Don't worry. You're not alone

Long_Term_Health_Conditions_Information_Guide_Talking_Health_SGP9994
What is a long term condition?

Long term conditions are physical health conditions that require ongoing management over a period of years.

We can help people with conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • COPD and respiratory conditions
  • Obesity
  • Heart conditions
  • Persistent pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
  • Gastrointestinal conditions and IBS

How are you feeling?

Many emotions and feelings can arise from living with a long term health condition. You may feel frustrated, tired or worried.

There are many challenges involved, especially when dealing with difficult or unpleasant symptoms, procedures or treatments. It’s understandable that this can cause you to feel down, stressed or just not your usual self.

A long term condition can affect all aspects of your life. You can struggle to manage the changes that a health condition requires of you or find it more difficult to cope with your usual daily activities.

  • Maybe you feel frustrated about how your condition makes you feel
  • Maybe you worry about when the next flare up may be
  • You might feel down if you’re finding it difficult to adjust to your condition
  • You might not feel as confident as you used to or reluctant to try things differently
  • Maybe you feel alone and isolated with your condition.

Who does it affect?

More than 15 million people in England live with one or more long term conditions, according to the Department of Health (2011) and more than four million will also struggle with their emotional wellbeing and experience depression and anxiety.

Our physical and mental health are inextricably linked and when both are affecting you, you may find yourself struggling to cope, feel alone or afraid of how your life can improve.

Should I talk to my friends and family?

Talking about how you are feeling with a trusted friend or member of your family can help. Sometimes just sharing your thoughts will make you feel a bit better, but you may also want to talk and get further help from our Talking Health Team.

How can our Talking Health team help?

Our Talking Health Team is here to help you. They are a dedicated team of practitioners, experienced in working with people with a combination of physical and emotional health difficulties. They can work with you to help you manage the emotional difficulties that often go hand in hand with experiencing a long term health condition.

They often work closely, or in the same place, as other health professionals you may be seeing.

We will work with you using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This approach looks at how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours interact. It is a proven talking treatment for helping people to make changes to help them feel better. Improving emotional wellbeing can help people to improve their physical health.

We work across Devon and can help anyone over the age of 18 - no matter your gender, sexuality, age or race.

To get in touch with us:

complete our online self-referral form 

If you prefer, you can speak to us over the phone, or you can make an appointment with your GP to discuss how we can help.

You can also talk with other healthcare professionals, involved in your care. Appointments will be held at hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries.

Your experience with us

Your feedback matters

I was apprehensive about using the service thinking I wasn't "bad" enough but a talk to the cardiac group by a TALKWORKS practitioner gave me confidence to self-refer. I was referred with respect and taken seriously throughout, felt safe and was given tools and advise to help myself take control of my situation. 

I could not fault the service I received. I was listened to and given so many different resources to help my anxiety and depression. I was so very low a year ago but with the amazing support from my therapist I feel more and more myself every day. Thank you TALKWORKS.

“The therapy gently supported me to both understand and come to terms with my diagnosis and how it has impacted on me as a person for so many years. I felt I could be open and honest in a very safe space. I not only feel better, I understand myself better too.”

Mood Quiz

How are you feeling?

Take our Mood Quiz to help you understand if how you’re feeling is affecting your mental wellbeing. The self-assessment quiz is not designed to replace a consultation with your GP or other healthcare professional. However, if after taking the quiz you have concerns about your mental wellbeing please get in touch with us and we can help you or alternatively, contact your GP for an appointment.