MedCircle Original Series

Mental Health Impacts of a Life-Altering Medical Illness

Understanding the Impacts, Care Strategies, and Support Strategies

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Series Overview

Mental Health & Medical Illnesses 101 [Key Risks & Impacts] 14 Min

Join clinical psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, as she discusses the relationship between mental health and life-altering medical conditions. Discover the most common mental health impacts when fighting a severe illness and how a focus on mental/emotional health can improve overall outcomes.

What to Do Right After a Life-Altering Diagnosis [Coping Strategies] 15 Min

In this session, uncover the meaning behind the feelings of anger, loneliness, fear, denial, grief, and more. Discover tips, for patients and supporters, on how to manage mental health during the initial discovery of a severe illness. Plus, become familiarized with common signs that could indicate the need for professional mental health treatment.

How to Tell a Loved One About a New Diagnosis [Communication Techniques] 13 Min

Discover the appropriate way to tell family, friends, and children about a severe diagnosis. Learn about how loved ones may respond and ways to create healthy systems during this time. Furthermore, Dr. Ramani discusses self-care strategies to decrease overwhelm that can come from the well-meaning concern of supporters.

How to Ease Overwhelm & Stress of a Medical Illness [Based on Research] 13 Min

Learn strategies to properly manage your mental health through the many stages of adressing a severe illness. Understand how to navigate your social support, living environment, job demands and more. Plus, Dr. Ramani reveals effective treatment options and providers you may want to consider.

Supporter Strategies: How to Help Your Loved One [& Help Yourself] 13 Min

The families of patients who are chronically ill tend to be more depressed and are more likely to have other psychological symptoms. In this session, learn how to effectively communicate to children and loved ones, deliver “bad news,” and how you can encourage supporters to take care of themselves.


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You can get free access to all 5 segments of this video series when you become a MedCircle Member. You’ll also get access to weekly virtual workshops and more than 900 educational and inspiring videos. 

About the Series

“Many grieve about their predicament before adjusting to it. But others have protracted distress and may develop psychiatric disorders, most commonly depression or anxiety.”
– NCBI, Western Journal of Medicine

110 million people in the U.S. are affected with one or more chronic illnesses. Even more receive the difficult diagnoses of a life-altering illness such as; cancer, muscular dystrophy (MD), cystic fibrosis, and many others.

Research shows that the emotional dimensions of chronic conditions are often overlooked when medical care is considered.

It can be difficult to diagnose depression and other mental health disorders in the medically ill, but determining the correct diagnosis and treatment are essential for overall health.

This series focuses on how to work through the grief that results from this difficult, life-altering situation. It also provides strategies on how to adjust to this new, trying time, in a way that minimizes the negative health impacts on patients and their loved ones.

Who is this series for?

For individuals facing a physical life-altering medical diagnosis, this series provides insight into the mental health impacts, strategies for self-care and communication with loved ones, and much more.

For supporters, this series will provide actionable strategies to better care for your loved one and yourself.

“Dr. Ramani helped me understand what I was feeling. I learned how to move through the stages of grief when I got a cancer diagnosis. When you first get a diagnosis, there’s a sense of denial, then sadness and anger, then acceptance. I learned how to sit in these emotions and move through them, I learned how to empower myself in my treatment, and to be patient along the way because you can’t rush it. I now understand mindfulness and meditation in a new light—it’s not just a fad. It helps me stay present, not think too far into the future, take it moment by moment. Today, everything is okay. This series helped me discover this truth.”
Joan M.

In this series, you’ll discover:

  • How focusing on mental and emotional health can improve overall outcomes. Understanding the emotional and mental response to a life-changing diagnosis.
  • Strategies for patients and supporters to facilitate healthy communication. Parents and caregivers will learn how to talk to their children about these tough topics.
  • Managing your mental health while going through treatment for a major physical illness. Supporters will learn how to help their loved ones while also maintaining their own mental health.
  • Working through grief, hopelessness, and other emotions when facing a life-altering medical illness.

“The patient’s capacity to adapt to illness over a long period of time has a direct effect on the successful outcome of the illness…by discarding false hope, destructive hopelessness, and restructuring the environment in which one now functions.”
– Adams and Lindemann, 1974

"Receiving a life-altering diagnosis can be psychologically devastating - not just for the patient, but for their family members and loved ones. Learn the strategies and tools that can help you thrive."

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D.


Start Watching This Series Now!

You can get free access to all 5 segments of this video series when you become a MedCircle Member. You’ll also get access to every video series from the MedCircle doctors.