When Additional Help is Needed
When Adults Are Overwhelmed
Sometimes, children’s behavior is a reaction to the emotional climate in the household. Along with the everyday frustrations of parenting, the stress of a parental illness can take its toll on your patience and your capacity to do more than the bare minimum of household chores.
When to ask for help
Sometimes adult stress can become a more serious problem, like depression or anxiety, that makes it difficult for you to cope and affects your child. You may find that you have more days than not of feeling down or depressed, or have trouble with sleep, appetite, or energy above and beyond your medical symptoms. If you have trouble with these issues, if you are experiencing these issues and you are not ill, or if you have trouble with motivation or excessive guilt and are not able to enjoy activities you used to enjoy, consult with your doctor about treatment for depression.
Certainly, if you have thoughts that your family would be better off without you, or you have thoughts of hurting yourself, you need to seek professional mental health treatment. Start with your primary care doctor, who can refer you to a counselor or for further evaluation if you need antidepressant medication. A counselor can also be helpful if you find that your anxiety about the illness is interfering with your ability to manage everyday activities or participate fully in your medical treatment.
© 2013 Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program/PACT Boston • • Back to top