Fatal illness is naturally a distressing and frightening prospect.

Getting a motor-neurone disease (MND) diagnosis and coping with the disease can be extremely stressful. However, with strong personal and medical support, dignity and quality of life are possible.

It may be difficult to speak about your illness, but talking can be a relief from tension and isolation. Communication also helps to prepare your loved ones for what is to come. Express your feelings and fears; don’t be afraid of being upset or seeing other people’s distress: this is normal and can be a release. You may wish to heal rifts or renew contact with estranged loved ones.

It may help to see a trained counsellor or therapist, especially if you feel depressed or anxious – common in people struggling with illness. Medications are available to help with these problems.

Do you need immediate support? Visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636 any time of the day or night to talk to a trained counsellor.

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