The study investigated the factors that may alleviate the emotional distress of chronically ill persons, enhance their coping capacity and prevent further acceleration of the deterioration in their condition. Based on recent approaches to breakdown and stress, the seriousness of a chronically ill person's situation was hypothesized as resulting from the inadequacy of the individual's and his primary group's coping resources and inexpediency of the professional emotional support. A study carried out among a representative sample of Jewish Israeli adults gave support to the hypothesized insufficiency of individual resources. Data highlighted the significance of the physician's emotional support as the most sought for yet least attainable resource in alleviating distress. The study lends further support to previous evidence of the importance of the physician's affective behavior in the patient's wellbeing. It also ascertained the role that primary groups' emotional support may have in the readjustment of the chronically ill.