Seek outside help
You don't have to go through this by yourself. Friends and family members care about you and are looking for opportunities to help. Other parents with chronically ill children are eager to give and receive support. Reaching out to others not only will help take some of the stress off but can also strengthen your existing relationships and build new ones.
- Ask family and friends for help. Build a support network to help ease your home and office workload.
- Find a specially trained psychologist to help both you and your child manage and cope with chronic illness.
- Join a support group. A support group can be a great source of encouragement and advice from others in similar situations. It can also be a good place to make new friends.
Take care of yourself
As a caregiver, you may be so focused on your loved one that you don't realize your own health and well-being are suffering. To provide the best care for your child, don't forget to take care of yourself.
June 25, 2014
- Eat healthy foods and make time for exercise.
- Continue engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Keeping up with your mental health is just as important for your child as it is for you.
- Let go of unnecessary obligations. For example, take time off from volunteering, if you do that, and let go of guilt — your house doesn't have to be perfect, and it's OK to eat leftovers a few days in a row.
See more In-depth
- Compas BE, et al. Coping with chronic illness in childhood and adolescence. Annual Reviews of Clinical Psychology. 2012;8:455.
- When your child is diagnosed with chronic illness: How to cope. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-illness-child.aspx. Accessed May 21, 2014.
- Coping with a diagnosis of chronic illness. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-illness.aspx. Accessed May 21, 2014.
- Helping children cope with chronic illness. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology. http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Medical_Students_and_Residents/Mentorship_Matters/DevelopMentor/Helping_Children_Cope_with_Chronic_Illness.aspx. Accessed May 21, 2014.