Page 19

Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The Anger Most parents don’t want to admit that they felt anger when their child was diagnosed with CHD, but it is a completely normal reaction. You may continue to feel angry after returning home from the hospital, or you may start to feel angry for the first time once you are at home and not under the daily stress of having a hospitalized child. You might feel like it isn’t fair (it’s not) and wonder why it had to happen to you. You might feel resentment toward others who have healthy children, especially if it seems like they don’t appreciate how fortunate they are. Well-meaning people may say things that are offensive or hurtful, triggering additional anger. Depending on your beliefs, you may feel angry at God or feel as if CHD is a punishment. Most parents and caregivers of children with CHD experience feelings of anger at some point, and those feelings do not make you a bad person. (However, if your anger reaches a point where you feel violent toward yourself or others, seek help immediately.) HELPFUL TIPS FOR MANAGING ANGER Even if you are justified in feeling angry, that anger is destructive to you and your family. The best way to handle it is to notice it, avoid resisting it, name it (why are you angry?) and breathe. If you can’t seem to let extreme anger go, seek counseling. Sometimes talking to a professional is the only way to move through the anger. Here are a few other techniques that may help you manage these feelings: Breathe. When you feel anger welling up, take deep, calming breaths and ground yourself. Focusing on your breathing can calm you down and bring you back to the present moment. Count to 10. You may have been told as a child to count to 10 before reacting when you are angry. That’s good advice for adults too. Counting to 10 in your mind can help you get to a better place and make better decisions about how to react. Assume good intentions. Other parents who have a child with CHD are the only ones who know what it’s like — and even those people have many different experiences. When people say or do something that offends you, don’t automatically assume that they meant to be hurtful. Many people think they’re being helpful and supportive … even when they’re not. Take 24 hours before reacting to anything online. Giving yourself a day to calm down can really help when dealing with people via email or social media. Find others who understand. Many parents feel resentful toward others — even friends and family — who just don’t seem to understand what they are going through. Additional resentment can come when parents of perfectly healthy kids don’t seem to appreciate how lucky they are. Join a support group in your community or online to find other parents who understand how you feel. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 19


Mended Little HeartGuide
To see the actual publication please follow the link above