Living with a chronic disease takes a toll on many different areas of one’s life. One such area is clothing. Many people living with chronic diseases find that their clothing choices are affected in one way or another. To spread awareness on this seldom talked-about topic, here are some of the ways living with a chronic disease can impact clothing choices.
1. Complete clothing change
People may find they can no longer wear the same type of clothing they wore before their diagnosis. This can be due to the fact that many chronic diseases cause weight changes, which in turn affects what clothing sizes a person can wear. Additionally, the disease may cause changes in skin tone or texture that make some types of clothing no longer comfortable or flattering. Many people living with chronic diseases find they need to completely change their wardrobe to accommodate their new body and style.
2. Limited clothing options
People with chronic diseases may find that they have to resort to wearing specific types of clothing in order to make them feel more comfortable. This might mean wearing looser clothing or clothes made from specific materials that are less likely to cause irritation. For example, people undergoing cancer treatment and who have lost their hair might choose to wear hats or headscarves to feel more comfortable. Especially if the disease is visibly apparent, people may feel they have to dress a certain way in order to avoid judgment or stares. When it comes to accessories, people might find they have to avoid wearing anything that could potentially cause them pain or discomfort.
3. More frequent clothing changes
Some sufferers of chronic diseases find that they have to change their clothes more often than those without a chronic disease. This can be due to the fact that many chronic diseases cause sweat and other body fluids to seep through clothing, which can lead to discomfort or skin irritation. Additionally, some people living with chronic diseases find that their clothing quickly becomes stained or dirty, necessitating more frequent changes.
4. More expensive clothing
Living with a chronic disease often comes with added expenses, and clothing is no exception. People with chronic diseases may find that they need to purchase specialized clothing in order to accommodate their condition. For example, those with arthritis may need to buy clothing that has special stretch panels to make it easier to move, or people with cancer might need to purchase clothing that is made from breathable fabrics. Additionally, those living with chronic diseases may find that they need to replace their clothing more often, due to the fact that it wears out more quickly from being washed more often or from being exposed to body fluids.
5. More time spent on clothing
Alongside the extra money spent on clothing, people with chronic diseases may find that they spend more time on their clothing than those without a chronic disease. This is especially true if they have had to change their entire wardrobe to accommodate their condition. Clothing takes on a new level of importance when it becomes a tool to help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. For some people, this means taking the time to find the perfect outfit or spending extra time on their hair and makeup. Ultimately, the way a person dress is just one more way that they can take control of their life and feel good about themselves, despite their chronic disease.
6. More self-consciousness
Living with a chronic disease can often lead to a feeling of self-consciousness. This is especially true if the disease is visible to others. They may feel like they are constantly being judged by those around them, and this can lead to a feeling of isolation. The clothes a person wears can be a way to express themselves and feel more confident, but for those living with chronic diseases, this can be difficult. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this and that there are others out there who understand what you are going through.
Clothing is an often-overlooked topic when it comes to living with a chronic disease. However, it’s important to remember that a chronic disease can affect all aspects of one’s life, including the way one dresses. People with chronic diseases may find that they have to resort to wearing specific types of clothing, or that they need to change their wardrobe completely. Additionally, they may find that they spend more time and money on their clothing than those without a chronic disease. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that chronic diseases should not define a person – they are still the same person underneath, no matter what their disease might be.