Impact of having an Asthmatic Child in the Family

Psychological stress versus Asthma

Family dynamics can also play a major role in the etiology (mechanism and style) of chronic illnesses such as asthma. It has been found that stress factors can trigger the onset of asthma in genetically susceptible children. In a significant research, it has been found that 10 out of 15 most stressful events occur within the family. Family stress factors also can maintain the disease and or precipitate attacks in established asthmatic children and may even increase the risk of early death. Not only family stress aggravate asthma but the onset of asthma in a child also induces stress in the family. Childhood asthma puts major stress on the family. The unpredictability of asthma attacks and the “well again /sick again” cycle is particularly stressful, if your child is suffering from asthma or any other allergies, medical acupuncture is a great way of reducing asthma attacks and the family stress, bringing more safety and less stress for your day.

Stress Factors in Family of Asthmatic Child

  • Rigidity in thoughts.
  • Poor family communication and problem-solving.
  • Repression of feeling.
  • Overt hostility.
  • Frequent criticism from parents.
  • Less agreement between mother and father in decision making.

Stress consequences of Asthma on a Child

  • More likely to get into fights.
  • Non-cooperative.
  • Stubborn.
  • Depressed.
  • Scary. 
  • Timid.
  • Withdrawn.

Stress consequences of Asthma on Mother

  • Depression.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Insomnia.
  • Loss of appetite.

Stress consequences of Asthma on Sibling

  • Strong emotional feelings.
  • Feeling guilty for causing the illness.
  • Jealously and anger over special attention their ill sibling receives.
  • Fear of contracting the illness.
  • Feel embarrassed at the uncontrolled symptoms of their ill sibling.

Consequences and Solution of Stress of Asthma in a Family

When a child suffers from asthma not only he experiences the agony of the disease but practically the whole family suffers from it. Nevertheless, many children and their families cope with the illness with little psychological damage. Family support can buffer the agony of asthma. Early-onset of the disease means a better adjustment later on, for both child and family, because they are used to dealing with the condition. Therefore, a 12 years old who has been asthmatic since infancy may be coping better with the Illness than a peer who has recently been diagnosed. In addition sure knowledge of a serious disease often is easier to cope with than troubling uncertainty. It is helpful for the parents to distinguish between acute and chronic phases of the disease in setting limits and insisting on discipline and structure. Behavior that is tolerated during acute phases need not necessarily become the norm during the day-to-day, chronic phase of the disease.

Joint-family and multi-family with common problems therapy groups appear to be an especially effective means of introducing psychotherapy to the families. Often these groups provide all that is needed. In these groups, parents and siblings share the challenges they are in common. Participants hear other people’s perceptions and problems. It helps them get a more objective view of their situation. The families begin to see the universal stress of dealing with asthma and many families are able to break the guilt/blame cycle and proceed to realistic problem-solving.

It is virtually impossible to separate the physiological and psychological health of a chronically ill asthmatic child from the family he lives with. Likewise, the health of that family as a unit and as an individual often is significantly affected by a sick child. Despite challenges, with proper guidance, an ill asthmatic child and his family can cope, overcome, and defeat the problem of the asthma monster to live and thrive a happy life.

Asthmatic Style of coping Asthma in Family

  • Realize that,
    • Asthma is a chronic disease.
    • The tendency may persist throughout life.
    • Asthma may become silent but may reoccur again after years or sometimes after decades.
    • Asthma can easily be controlled with minimal medication on regular basis.
  • Communicate with the asthmatic child regularly.
  • Discuss and solve the problem of asthmatic children.
  • Set tolerance limits of the acute and chronic phases.
  • Therapy by joint or multi-family meetings.

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