How Can Long-term Illness Affect Your Job?

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Let’s face it, we have all been ill at one time or another in our lives and it is not a pleasant time. How would you feel though if illness were a part of your everyday life? For some people it is in fact a reality and something they are faced with each day.


Pain and Issues

For someone that has a long-term illness, they can appear well and normal, but they can be experiencing painful and unpleasant symptoms most people are unaware of. Learning to live with the discomfort is a huge challenge and keeping your mind on the job is hard, not to mention keeping to your scheduled work hours and in severe cases keeping your job!


For those people with a chronic illness it can be a major setback if you lose your job because of your illness. Not only does having a job to go to give you some ‘normality’ in your life, but it also gives you a chance to immerse yourself in something that can occupy your mind. Losing your job can in actual fact increase your stress levels and increase your symptoms making your illness worse.



Having your boss and co-workers think you are not up to the task can have damaging effects on a sick person’s self-esteem. You might find yourself getting the ‘evil eye’ when you take loads of time off, but it can be embarrassing admitting to people that you have a long-term illness.


Depression is very common due to the number of factors a person has to cope with when diagnosed with a long-term illness. Coping with pain, medications, relationships, and lack of sleep are just some of the numerous factors that can contribute to depression. With all the upheaval in your life, it’s no surprise your work performance suffers.


If you are used to being active during your daily job, it is possible you find you can’t do the same things as you used to be able to. You may have lost the energy, strength or ability to do your job properly. This can be a rude awakening to usually fit and active people. You might have to look into changing jobs and doing something else to earn your wage.



Living with sickness can mean lots and lots of appointments and visits to the doctors, hospitals or specialists that take up a lot of time that your employer might find hard to accept. Having to get a person to cover your role all the time can become tiresome and you need to have a really understanding, sympathetic boss. Losing out on pay because you’ve used up all your sick leave only adds to the problems.


Hopefully you have an understanding employer and your fellow workers are compassionate. Long-term illness is something you have the rest of your life to endure.


Cormac Reynolds is a healthy worker but has seen people ill in the work place and suffering the above situation. He writes this article for work accident claims company Claims National



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