Acute Health Conditions
Acute health conditions refer to those which can be severe and occur suddenly. This can range from a broken leg to an asthma attack or even Covid-19. They can either appear once and not return, or they may occur periodically but only at certain times. These contrast with long-term or chronic health conditions, which require ongoing management over a period of months or years, such as diabetes, psoriasis or multiple sclerosis.
Acute health conditions can have a negative impact on mental health. They can interrupt our daily routines, prevent us from doing things we enjoy and value, require us to take time off work and generally make our lives more challenging. Additionally, the unexpected nature of acute health conditions can be particularly difficult.
Common psychological reactions to acute health conditions are frustration, sadness, worry, stress and anxiety. More severe and less common reactions include depression, PTSD, acute stress reaction and adjustment disorder. It is important to remember that psychological distress in response to a health difficulty is perfectly normal and to be expected, and that more serious reactions are treatable with talking therapies.