source: Center for Online Education
The term “chronic conditions” may apply to a wide range of medical conditions. Traditionally, it refers to a disease that affected college students must continually mitigate against (typically with medication and/or physical therapy) for an indefinite period of time. The CDC lists stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis as five of the most common chronic illnesses found among all U.S. citizens; in recent years, obesity has also been included on this list. Other illnesses that occur less frequently but are still considered “chronic” include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Additionally, psychological conditions like bipolar mood disorder and schizophrenia also impact college students on a chronic basis. Chronic conditions that impact daily life like blindness, deafness, or partial paralysis are classified as disabilities, not chronic illnesses.
Chronic conditions may occur in individuals of any age, and there are special considerations for every age group. For college students, having a chronic illness generally requires strategies for finding the right balance between studying and managing a disease; important considerations concerning financial aid and health insurance; and disability services that are available to these students, both online and offline. In this guide to student resources for college students with chronic conditions, you will learn how to better manage your condition while attending college.