Chronic Illness Support
Support Available at Health & Wellness
Individual Education and Support
Our Health Resource Nurses are available to meet individually to provide education and support for students with chronic illnesses. Their goal is to help students learn how to manage the changing emotions and symptoms that may be brought about by chronic illness so that they can have a successful college experience at UNH. This service is available to ALL UNH students.
Make an Appointment
- Call (603) 862-2857
- Make an appointment online
If your illness has affected your ability to perform academically, it is very important that you communicate with your professors. Health Resource Nurses are available to discuss options and resources.
Meeting Other Students with Chronic Illness
Meeting other students with similar chronic conditions can aid in managing feelings of isolation and hopelessness. We provide the following services to connect students:
- A Health Resource Nurse can connect students to others with similar diagnosis. Students who have connected to each other in the past include students with cancer, Hodgkin's disease, diabetics and Crohn's disease.
To inquire about services, call (603) 862-2857 or email Mackenzie.Johansmeyer@unh.edu
- Wellness Educator/Counselor at Health & Wellness
- Nutrition Educator/Counselor at Health & Wellness
- Psychological and Counseling Services
- Student Accessibility Services
- Center for Academic Resources
About Chronic Illnesses or Chronic Medical Conditions
Chronic illness or chronic medical conditions are words used to describe health conditions that last a long time or are ongoing. Examples of chronic illnesses and chronic conditions affecting young adults may include asthma, scoliosis, diabetes, Crohn's disease and certain types of cancer including leukemia and Hodgkin's disease.
Common Symptoms of Chronic Illnesses
Although every chronic illness is unique, there are certain symptoms, that are common to most chronic illness and conditions.
Chronic illness can drain your energy. The disease itself, inactivity, poor nutrition, insufficient rest or emotions can cause fatigue. Fatigue can also be a sign of depression.
Stress is what our bodies go through as we adjust to our continually changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings. Naturally, stress affects all of us and it is important to learn to manage stress.
Pain is a problem shared by many people with chronic illness. Two of the best ways of dealing with pain are the use of exercise and cognitive pain management techniques, such as relaxation and deep breathing. In addition to exercise and cognitive pain management, there are several other techniques that are sometimes useful for localized pain. These may include the application of heat or cold, the use of massage, and acupuncture.
Anger can be one of the most common responses to chronic illness. Having an illness or condition, that does not completely go away, can be very frustrating. Feelings of "why me?" can be common and a normal response. Learning to manage your anger can involve acknowledging this anger and finding constructive ways to deal with it.
Many factors can set the stage for depression, coping with change, loss and your biological and genetic predispositions. Some symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in ordinary activities
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping Problems
Getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night allows your body to concentrate on healing. Lack of sleep can also exacerbate other symptoms such as pain, anger and fatigue.