In days gone by, people understood that a knock to your health takes its toll on your emotions, your relationships, your morale, your 'spirit'. But these days, we think that if the doctor has waved you off, then you are 'better'. We neglect what scientific studies show is a vital element of recovery: the emotional side of getting better. As a result, many of us struggle with hidden issues such as depression, stress and anxiety long after a health crisis. This new book, from the authors of The Cancer Survivor's Companion (highly commended by the BMA and winner of the Guild of Health Writers' Best Health Book 2012) centres on the crucial, research-based (but widely overlooked) truth that 'getting better' is not just about the body - emotions play a huge part. Often, a person's emotional state is the one thing stopping them from a full recovery. Contents include: Why getting better takes time; why relaxation and exercise are both vital; how to build your confidence and tackle low mood and depression; how to eat for recovery; how to deal with medical advice and communicate well with your doctor; how to keep family life and relationships on track and much more.
There are also case histories to inspire readers as well as fascinating snippets from times gone by which help to make this an entertaining as well as a highly practical, inspiring read.
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It is extraordinary that no one has written a book like this until now. It is designed to help you take off where the medical profession left off. Inventive, practical and authoritative, this book will help with the obvious and unexpected challenges of recovery after illness Dr Suzy Cleator BM BCh MRCP FRCR PhD, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, St Mary's and Charing Cross Hospitals, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust, London Every patient - and every patient's supporters, be they relative, partner or friend - will find help from this book. From the start of a phase of medical intervention, right through to the struggle to get out of it and back on with life, Frances and Lucy have broken the entire process into understandable sections, and demystified the process. By giving a structure to feelings that you might otherwise only be dimly aware of, or not at all until too late, it informs and guides the reader through the complex geography of appointments, illness, treatment and recovery. Copies of chapter one should be appended to every appointment letter to ensure the episode is exploited fully, and the whole experience starts off on the right track. It should also be made compulsory reading for all the staff who come into contact with patients. As a succinct guide to the journey through illness, it has the makings of a classic. I warmly commend Frances and Lucy on a sympathetic and above all practical guide Professor Justin P Cobb, Chair, Section of Orthopaedic, Imperial College London This is a really timely book. It puts together much if what I have gleaned over the years and try to tell my patients in a rush in 8 minutes! The advice is sensible and manageable, and phrased in a way that doesn't make you want to give up before you have started. A great resource to dip in and out of as you come across different hurdles in convalescence Rosie Haining, Edinburgh GP This book is a great companion for people living with long-term conditions and their families. It gives simple, practical advice for those faced with the challenges of illness, such as dispelling their worries and giving coping strategies for managing stress. I like the examples from people who have experienced illness and these will be inspirational to others. I would recommend this book to anybody with a long-term condition and their families, as it shows it is possible to put quality back into life after a diagnosis Dr Barbara Conway, British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Specialist Nurse, Doctor of Nursing, County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust For doctor and patient alike, those familiar with serious illness recognise that the associated mental struggle, stress and uncertainty are at least as great a challenge as the physical illness and its aftermath. How to Feel Better is a detailed, practical guide that understands these problems and provides practical evidence-based solutions. The insight and experience of Dr Goodhart are easily apparent through the many thoughtful tips and strategies, whilst the key themes and ideas are related by the authors in a style that is accessible, without being patronising. The authors draw on many patient vignettes that resonate with my own clinical practice. Indeed, the handbook is as helpful to the thoughtful doctor as to his or her patient. This is an important, well-balanced and serious contribution that will provide the interested patient, carer and professional with new perspectives, tips and insights Robin P Choudhury DM FRCP, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford & Consultant Cardiologist, Oxford Heart Centre
Dr Frances Goodhart is a Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist with over 20 years' experience in the NHS. She specialises in working with adults, children and families coping with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. She has been a member of the Radio Five Live health panel, and is widely quoted in the press. Lucy Atkins is a well-known health journalist, writing for papers such as The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph as well as for magazines and online sites. She is the author of three health-related titles.