Every year we are blessed to spend here on earth we should be thankful for the opportunities and experiences we have. As a parent of a child with Sickle Cell Disease it can be very easy to look at the situation negatively. Instead of looking at what is wrong and worrying about things why not enjoy the blessing you have.
The right attitude can do a lot to improve difficult situations. When I first found out that my daughter had sickle cell it was very tempting to be depressed. Over time I learned spending my time worrying about my daughter’s illness would not really help her. She is a child and wants to have fun and play, she does not need to spend her life worrying about SCD. I want my daughter to enjoy her life and I want to enjoy my life with her as well.
Keeping a positive attitude allows me and my family to enjoy the time we have together. I encourage everyone to face whatever comes your way whether its SCD or something else with a positive outlook.
There are times when we need to find outside support to help us cope with life situations. If you are worried or just want to talk about what’s going on in your life below are a few recommendations.
1. Find a support group
Some groups can be formal and require health insurance benefits to enroll or you can find an informal group online. Support groups help people feel comfortable sharing, confirms they are not alone, and encourages people to reach out and create a larger network of supporters.
- The first place to inquire about a in-person support group is at your doctor’s office
- The Sickle Cell Disease National Resource Directory will list resources available by state
- If there are people who are dealing with depression National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has many support groups and programs that are available
- Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation Inc. (Pennsylvania) that provides support groups
- Support groups in Australia for Chronic illnesses
2. Allow your feelings to motivate you to action
Anger and frustration can be two of your strongest motivators to do something to help make life better for yourself or others. These two feelings can cause you to make life changes for the better.
3. Pray and meditate
Sometimes, the best thing we can do when a situation feels too large for us to handle is pray. Prayer helps to ground our thoughts and take the focus off the problem and place it where God can grant a respite.
- Consider yoga
- Play an instrument
- Find a hobby that helps to relax and de-stress your mind.
4. Exercise and eat healthy foods
What we put into our bodies effects our physical and mental state of mind. Avoid caffeinated beverages and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because these foods help regulate your moods.
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5. Read books and listen to music from people who triumphed over a similar situation
Learning more about the lives of others who have experienced a similar illness can help people cope with what they are going through.
Here are a list of a few resources for people living with Sickle Cell Disease