If your family is taking care of a child suffering from a complex medical diagnosis, your own needs often get put on the back burner. While it is understandable that the child needs a high level of support, your own mental health and well being are not things to take for granted. Experiencing feelings like grief, anxiety and even depression are normal, but it’s important to address them in order to stay healthy for yourself and your family.
Avoid Hiding in the Shadows
It’s easy to hide in the shadows when you feel grief or depression. After all, parenthood should be a happy experience, and knowing that can make you think that you’re the only person who has ever felt this way. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s normal to move through various stages of grief or anxiety especially as your child’s condition changes and you learn to adapt to their new needs.
Work Through Your Grief
When you’re experiencing feelings of grief, allow yourself time to go through it. Trying to push through your emotions too fast or bury them and pretend you’re not experiencing them is not healthy. Not only can this lead to increased mental health concerns, but it can cause your emotions to build up, even to the point of impacting your relationship with the people you love.
As a parent and especially considering your child’s medical condition, it’s important to be willing to accept help too. The more you try to do everything alone, the more it increases your chances of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Friends, neighbors and other family members can chip in to help with your child and household tasks. The other children in your home and even your medically fragile child can provide you some support too. To assist with your child’s medical condition, it can also be helpful to enlist the services of a professional homecare agency.
Besides verbally processing your grief, you might also find it helpful to start a journal. Writing down your thoughts is a great way to dig deeper when it comes to self expression and evaluation. It also provides you with a record to look back on so you can understand how far you’ve come. Another option is to write your thoughts down but not keep the paper. Rip it up, burn it in a fire or throw it in a trash. Doing this can be cathartic and help you to release some deep down emotions.
As you’re walking through this journey with your medically fragile child, take time to take care of yourself too. Walk through the stages of grief in a normal, natural and healthy way. Learn how to accept help. Find ways to express all that you’re feeling inside. Salus Homecare Salt Lake is always here to help with home care and home health services to make your life a little easier. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.