Most of us have weathered childhood health issues like chicken pox, broken bones, stitches and tonsillectomies. And other than some faded scars, we probably have few continuing reminders of those early afflictions. But for some adults, especially those who have experienced severe or chronic childhood illnesses, like cancer, juvenile diabetes, or cystic fibrosis, the impact of those experiences continues to play out in their grown-up lives and bodies.
THE COST OF CHILDHOOD ILLNESS
Experiencing a severe or chronic illness as a child can have long-term, adverse effects. Some adults missed out on significant developmental milestones as their peers, not being able to attend prom or get a driver’s license due to hospitalizations or limited mobility. Depression, anxiety and strained family relationships can continue for years after a childhood health condition has resolved. Occasionally, clients will report unresolved trauma symptoms related to medical procedures or conditions they experienced decades before. Others become aware that their coping or relationship skills have been stunted by extensive time away from the childhood millieau of school, sports and play dates. Counseling can be instrumental in helping adults address and move past these obstacles. Therapy can be a safe place to access stored grief, resolve trauma, obtain psychoeducational training to develop delayed life skills and recognize resiliencies that enhanced survival. If you struggled with health concerns as a child and experience any of these challenges, consider contacting a therapist to bring healing to your mind and spirit as well as your body.