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How are you coping with the stresses of serious illness?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

“Families facing serious paediatric illness are essentially ordinary families facing extraordinary stressors."™ Kazak (1997)

The fear of childbirth, the uncertainty of life, witnessing death and dealing with medical diagnosis are just some of the struggles I have faced and the pain and anxiety from these stresses has been so deep, lonely and HORRENDOUS.

During episodes of hospitalisation I loose control of caring for my son, my family are separated, we struggle with communication, I don’t sleep or eat much and yet somehow I remain relatively calm. I love the way my body adapts to #AcuteStress, it's quite remarkable. My poor children however are traumatised and this is deeply upsetting to watch.

Then we are discharged with a physically and psychologically weaker child, a sibling who is over joyed that home life will be normal again and a husband who has work stresses caused by total disruption. There will be bags of dirty laundry, an empty fridge, new medications to get your head around and of course new care plans which will involve endless phone calls and meetings. I am depleted, I’m exhausted, I’ve lost my identity, life is daunting and it’s about to get messy. #ChronicStress rears its ugly head.

Persistent powerlessness and unrelieved chronic stress is what damages our mental and physical health. Us parents living with the stresses of serious paediatric illness have to learn to cope with it and find ways to stop it grinding us down - have you?

How are you feeling? Do you have a coping strategy? Does it help? Tell me about it ...if you care to share.

I am by no means an expert… I still struggle.

I resort to reading, writing or a walk, then I might pick up the phone and bore my friends and then I remember these amazing people and resources……

TOMMY’S - Support parents and families through the devastation of loosing a baby, through the trauma of premature birth and they help everyone have a safe and healthy pregnancy. Click for more information from #Tommys.

BLISS - Having a premature baby or sick baby in a neonatal unit can have a huge impact on you.

Click for more information from #Bliss.

NHS - There will be Psychology and Counselling services in your local hospital, these services tend to be for the child but do enquire.

Failing this your GP can refer you to specialist services or you can self refer. Did you know that 30% of Gp appointments are related to mental health issues!

Click to access #NHSmentalhealthservices

PLACE2BE PROJECT - Some schools provide amazing pastoral care through organisations such as a #Place2Beproject. Great for helping siblings.


Promoting Psychological Well-Being in Children with Acute and Chronic Illness by Melinda Edwards and Penny Titman.

An excellent and Informative guide by my favourite Psychologist

Click here to get the book


Get Self Help have loads of free CBT information leaflets & self help guides.

Click for free #GetSelfHelp downloads

Click to download the the #worrytree - the kids and I love the worry tree

Click here for an article by #Smithsonian that sums up the affects of stress on our body


How are you feeling? Do you have a coping strategy? Does it help? Tell me about it ...if you care to share. x


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