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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  

QUESTION: Last week’s question related to the association between self-efficacy and health. I answered partly last week. This week, I will offer part two to my answer to that question.

ANSWER: This is part two of the answer to last week’s question about how self-efficacy correlates with better health outcomes after controlling for confounding variables.  In addition to providing the motivation to pursue our goals, self-efficacy has health benefits in and of itself.  Think of a time in your life when you were engaged in an activity in which you believed you had no chance of succeeding. It may have been school, a sport, or a career. How did you feel in that situation? You probably felt helpless, powerless, frustrated, sad, and possibly depressed. Those particular emotions, when experienced over a protracted period contribute to health problems.

Now, think of a time when you excelled in something. How did you feel? You probably had better posture, attracted more people to you, were more motivated to attempt difficult challenges. In addition, the feelings of confidence in your ability to succeed—self-efficacy—would have served to optimize your state of health.

For those reasons, I consider the cultivation of self-efficacy to be of paramount importance.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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