How do you cope when your child is diagnosed with chronic illness?
It is natural for parents to feel protective of their children and this explains why it can be very disheartening when you are told your child has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Some of these conditions include cancer, diabetes or even juvenile arthritis. It is important that parents learn how to cope with the news and also how to manage their emotions in order to give their child the best care they require.
The most prominent feelings parents have when they find out their kids have a chronic illness include sadness, anger and guilt. These feelings though undesirable, are not abnormal.
What is the best way to handle this situation and cope with your child’s illness?
The best way is to address the medical condition head on and take decisive action. When you do this, you give yourself a sense of purpose and you can hold off the feelings of helplessness and depression. By taking action, you will feel more in control because you know you are doing something to make your child feel better. Additionally, you should avoid becoming overprotective or too laid-back with your child. Try to maintain the same structure you had before the diagnosis. This will help your child feel as normal as possible and also help hold your family together.
Another way to cope is to ensure you have a healthy way to manage your stress. You can achieve this by having a support network of friends and family who can help reduce your workload. You should also spend more time taking care of yourself by exercising, eating healthy and ensuring you don’t lose track of your interests.
You may also need to speak with a psychologist to help you and your child through the trying times.