TIPS FOR COPING WITH HAVING A FAMILY MEMBER WITH
1. You cannot cure your family member.
2. Despite your efforts, symptoms may get worse, or may improve.
3. If you feel much resentment, you are giving too much.
4. It can be as hard for you to accept the illness, as it is for the ill
5. Acceptance of the disease by all concerned may be helpful, but not
6. You may learn something about yourself as you learn about a family
member’s journey through illness.
7. Separate the person from the virus. Love the person, even if you hate
8. Separate medication side effects from the disease/person.
9. It is not OK for you to be neglected. You have needs & wants too.
10. Your chances of catching hepatitis C from casual contact or sexual
contact with a family member is extremely low, providing proper
precautions are taken to avoid blood contact.
11. The illness of a family member is nothing to be ashamed of.
Reality is that you may encounter discrimination from an apprehensive public.
12. No one is to blame.
13. Don’t forget your sense of humor.
14. It may be necessary to revise your expectations.
15. Acknowledge the remarkable courage your family member may show dealing
with the illness.
16.Your family member is entitled to his own life journey, as you are.
17. Survival-oriented response is often to shut down your emotional
life. Resist this.
18. Inability to talk about feelings may leave you stuck or frozen.
19. The family relationships may be in disarray in the confusion around the
disease. It may be necessary to renegotiate the way things have been done
in your relationship, both emotionally and physically.
20. Recognizing that a person has limited capabilities should not mean that
you expect nothing of them.
21. You may experience grief issues about what you had and lost, or about
what you never had.
22. After denial, sadness, and anger comes acceptance. The addition of
understanding yields compassion.
23. Diseases are a part of the varied fabric of life.
24. It is absurd to believe you may correct a physical illness such as
hepatitis with talk, although addressing social complications may be
25. Symptoms may change over time while the underlying disorder remains.
26. The disorder may be periodic, with times of improvement and
deterioration, independent of your hopes or actions.
27. Don’t shoulder the whole responsibility for your ill family member.
28. Forgive yourself and others for mistakes made.
29. Physicians have varied degrees of competence.
30. If you can’t care for yourself, you can’t care for another.
31. The needs of the ill person do not necessarily always come first.
32. It is important to have boundaries and set clear limits.
33. Chronic illness affects the entire family, not just the person who
actually has the disease.
34. It is natural to experience a cauldron of emotions such as grief,
guilt, fear, anger, sadness, hurt, confusion, etc. You, not the ill
member, are responsible for your own feelings.
35. You are not alone. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others in a
support group is helpful and enlightening for many.
36. The chronic illness of a family member is a trauma for the entire
family. You pay a price if you do not receive support and help.
37. Support your local hepatitis C group and the search for a cure!