Behind closed doors

Joseph Riffe Prostheticmedic@gmail.com
Christopher Snider christopherasnider@gmail.com
Britt Johnson hurtblogger@gmail.com

Abstract

The psychosocial and psychological aspects of living with chronic illness and trauma all too often get overlooked due to time constraints within healthcare, a focus on the immediate problem at hand, and an inability to ever fully understand another person's life.  This will be a candid discussion including a cross section of disease patients: Diabetes, Amputee, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Rare Disease. Each panelist will discuss life outside of the physician's office and dealing with the stigmas of their diseases. Topics will include: friendships with "healthy" people, family, intimacy, stress on caregivers, and questions posted by Twitter prior to the conference.  As well as how each demographic deals with the fatigue of being a patient 24/7. While each patient deals with the specifics of their disease, this discussion will highlight the commonality of being a chronic patient.

This as an opportunity for members of the healthcare community to gain access to a portion of patient lives that often goes unseen and unquestioned. They'll gain insight into taboo topics that are often not broached because of the uncomfortable nature of the subject matter, and be encouraged to freely ask questions they may have previously held back. We'll discuss the cyclical impact that psychosocial and psychological aspects of disease have on patients, how they can best be helped, and how to empower them to create healthy relationships in their lives while recognizing how and when to alter their communication strategies. 
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