Living with a chronic condition such as recurrent UTIs not only requires physical management (ie. staying hydrated, monitoring your triggers, etc.) but heightened mental self-awareness.
“Get involved. Online support groups exist for almost every chronic condition out there. It takes energy to connect, but connecting with others who experience what you go through on a daily basis can be validating and stress-relieving.” — Dr. Kelly Donahue, Holistic Health Psychologist
Accept and find a coping mechanism that is right for you
“The main lesson is that COPING is the right approach. This means there is no one right way. You find ways that help you with your mental and physical health. This will include rest, exercise, social support, perhaps psychotherapy, a good relationship with your doctor, controlling symptoms to whatever degree is reasonable. Having someone to talk about which of these is right for a specific problem/time is very helpful.” — Dr. Mark Rego, Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine
Be your own advocate
“Discussing your sexual interactions and urination process can make anyone feel vulnerable. Your healthcare team is vital towards obtaining diagnosis. Get a second opinion if you feel uncomfortable with one of your physicians or if the direction that they are taking does not seem intuitive. Dealing with the medical system is also complicated and can be exhausting. Find a close friend or family member with whom you feel comfortable and let them know how they can support you.” — Jodi Taub, LCSW
Don't be ashamed if you need help
“Don't let the stigma of chronic UTIs keep you from seeking help — whether it is from friends or a trusted therapist. Like any major stressor in life, it's important to connect with someone that can hear about what you are experiencing” — Dr. Rebecca Kason, Clinical Psychologist