The diagnosis of chronic illness or disorder can bring about life-changing perspectives and events in multiple ways. Often, patients lack the available mental and physical tools to cope with the unfamiliar new situation. Thus, starting from the early days of diagnosis, supportive and aggressive interventions are desired.

Aggressive interventions include the use of multiple mental and physical treatment methods in chronic rehabilitation. For example, patients can receive a large variety of para-medicine practices, psychological therapies, and alternative medicine treatments.

The combination of all treatment approaches, along with proper education acquired by the patients, can optimize the process of rehabilitation. Many authors of the books listed below describe a similar trend which asserts that disease first starts in the brain—suggesting that healthy mental and physical practices can assist in managing and promoting better well-being.

Acquiring a set of strategies and tools to cope with chronic pain can be a useful treatment for dealing with the symptoms of disease. However, it can also open up a much bigger opportunity for personal growth.

Not once, but many times, patients report overall greater life satisfaction despite the constant battle with a chronic health condition. These kinds of patients most likely have found the good in their challenging state of health and have used it to manifest and to develop better strategies and mechanisms to cope with the pain.

Being able to see the positive in the current situation provides an immediate advantage in the long-term recovery process.

Sometimes, the diagnosis of a chronic health condition causes individuals to encounter new information, techniques, and practices that were not visible before. In a nutshell, an unfortunate diagnosis not only forces a person to modify his/her perspective but also allows one to rediscover new aspects to one’s personality and the desire for self-growth.

Lack of time is the main reason for undoing or not accomplishing our goals and not satisfying our special interests. One thing that is required while coping with chronic pain is to slow down. This automatically clears one’s calendar and provides more time for personal care. Realistic dreams and goals can be worked on and fulfilled by applying the right energy to cope with chronic health conditions.

When Breath Becomes Air – M.D Paul Kalanithi

​The book is an autobiographical book written by American Neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Kalanithi. It discusses the sharp shift from being a neurosurgeon to being a stage 4 cancer patient. Dr. Kalanithi was in his sixth year of medical residency when the tumors in his lung were diagnosed. This young doctor was in the early days of his career and a bright and successful future was ahead of him. Dr. Kalanithi describes the journey of the constant search to find meaning in his prognosis and living in the face of death.


How to Be Sick – Toni Bernhard

Toni Bernhard has been diagnosed with a variety of possible chronic conditions from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to other central nervous system disorders. Nothing could pinpoint the exact mechanism of the origin of the pain, yet she managed to write a unique book in the sense that each chapter includes useful, easy-to-learn tools to cope with a chronic health condition. Buddhist practices and exercises are used in the book to overcome and help certain challenges in life.


The Sound Of A Wild Snail Eating – Elisabeth Tova Bailey

This book is an inspiring autobiographical nature memoir written by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. She describes her loneliness and depression and how everything changes when she finds a common forest snail inside a wild violet pot that a friend brought to her. By observing the snail’s behavior, Bailey slowly starts to find meaning, purpose, and internal strength. It is a wonderful and powerful memoir; in the end, Bailey notes how her improved health begins to detract from her attention given to the snail.


The Brain’s Way of Healing – Norman Doidge

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change its structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. In the book, Dr. Doidge introduces the brain’s self-healing abilities and the internal processes that are involved with it. This book definitely offers hope, along with other mental tools and essential information.


Shake, Rattle & Roll With It: Living and Laughing with Parkinson’s – Vikki Clafin

Vikki Claflin writes in her book about the funny and comic side of living with Parkinson’s disease. After the diagnosis, she went through dark days and difficult times although her positive behavior and ability to laugh at herself began to surface, which all came together as a beautiful story that discusses how it is to live with a chronic health condition. Shake, Rattle & Roll With It is a MUST READ book – pure joy, laughter, and fun.