All parents face conflicts over their desires to protect their children and to encourage their independence. This conflict is even more challenging when a child lives with chronic illness. Yet children (and parents) fare best when they can accept and adapt in ways that do not magnify the illness. Read on for strategies to help.
When pain and exhaustion are constant and unrelenting it feels hopeless. Yet even the worst chronic conditions have some variation. Finding and understanding these subtle differences opens the possibility of more significant improvement.
Chronic pain can feel all-encompassing. It can be helpful to remember that all that we ever have to get through is this very moment, and that the present moment is always changing. This article suggests ways to improve the moment, adapted from dialectical behavioral therapy, an approach that draws in equal measures from cognitive-behavioral therapy and zen Buddhism.
Pain is inevitable, but suffering and misery are not. The more we fight pain, the more likely we are to experience hopelessness and despair, and the harder it becomes to identify constructive change. Like those Chinese finger-trap toys, the more forcefully we tug to release our index fingers, the more tightly ensnared they become. Calming down opens the means to escape.
As psychotherapist who lives with chronic pain and works primarily with people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, it is not surprising that I would see overlaps. However, the commonality I have found is striking—not so much about symptoms themselves, but in the wider context of their social meaning and status.