At Deliver the Dream, an innovative charity that supports children and families dealing with a serious illness, crisis or disability, we see the toll that various medical conditions can take on people. Being able to maintain a positive attitude can play an important role in healing, coping and living.
Having a positive attitude does not mean the same thing as being happy or trying to be cheerful around other people. “One’s personality can influence the way a mood is displayed, and the actions that one takes during such phases. People who are more optimistic and positive, who gather more information from the surrounding stimuli, are able to have a better view of reality and adjust their actions according to what’s going on at that moment,” Positive Psychology explains. “That’s why, the purposeful act of widening our attention to spot positive stimuli not only helps us maintain our positive affect, but provides us with more resources by which to refer back to it. (Wadlinger and Isaacowitz, 2006)”
On the other hand they say, “Those who are pessimistic or insecure, look for evidence to support their downcast state and search for ways to reason or explain their negative affect. (Norbert and Gerald, 1983)”
In other words, if you go looking for bad news, you’ll find it. But if set out looking for the good, that’s what you will find and where your attention will be directed.
“Many people with chronic illness experience depression. In fact, depression is one of the most common complications of many chronic illnesses,” the medical experts at WebMD say. “It is estimated that up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition experience symptoms of depression.”
It’s easy to understand the connection between the kind of serious illnesses we see at our charity, from child cancer to multiple sclerosis, and depression. “Serious illness can cause tremendous changes in lifestyle, and limit an individual’s mobility and independence. Chronic illness may make it impossible to pursue the activities one enjoys and can undermine self-confidence and a sense of hope in the future. It is not surprising, then, that people with chronic illness often experience a certain amount of despair and sadness,” WebMD reports. “In some cases, the physical effects of the illness itself or side effects of medication may also lead to depression.”
In addition to our therapeutic programs, which are supported by generous members of our community like you who donate to charities like ours, you can look at our Facebook page for inspiration.