Parenting A Child With Chronic Physical Pain

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Chronic pain is severe as is, but how can ensure that you can still raise your child the best way despite it? “Chronic pain also often includes a tremendous psychological and social burden; children with ongoing pain regularly miss school, are unable to participate in activities, have reduced social relationships, and are three times more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression than children without pain,” says Rachael Coakley Ph.D.

These points may help you, the parent, always do your job effectively, being fair and firm on your child. Medications can only do so much. As many may have said, the household is still the critical factor in all of this. You will need to make sure you understand the pain, yet encourage him/her to normalize, not letting the pain consume him/her.

Routines & Rewarding

Chronic pain is a routine of pain, so what does one do? Fight it back with a method of your own. Encourage him/her to continue with school but do ask for considerations for the condition for things such as gym class and any other potential hazards.

A function may help dull out the pain and does more so when it improves. Encourage (not threaten) the child to do chores, starting with simple ones such as taking care of his room or preparing the table for dinner, and reward them for doing so. Putting up a schedule on the fridge door may be recommended, so to support keeping a routine.

However, keep in mind the reality of the condition, gradually adjusting the routine to best suit the child’s capabilities. Do try to reach out to professionals for more information and support on the matter.

Differing rewards can be given to a child, depending on age. Younger ones can use a sticker system to keep track of their success every day, while older ones appreciate praise about their independence.

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Sleep Hygiene

Sleep management is very much a factor in this. Unchecked, lack of sleep can cause mood swings and can worsen the pain experience. Many things can distract from getting the adequate hours in, and as such, guidelines need to be followed, such as:

  • No caffeine, sugar, spice within four hours of bedtime
  • Limit the screen time an hour right before bed
  • Keeping everything that has a screen outside the bedroom
  • Teaching the child to relax come night and eventually fall asleep of their own accord

Help With Transitions

Your child is going through a time of many a change, be it upcoming middle school, joining a new camp, dabbling in an after-school activity, or joining the school team. An essential step in all of this is having a relaxed conversation; ask them about their fears and assure them they’re going to be alright.

Do, however, encourage him to stay on a routine, keeping in mind that the child needs support from you, and help them regain their independence, which they may want when middle school comes.

“Focusing on what the child can do to help himself or herself empowers the child to get control over the pain instead of allowing the pain to take control,” says child psychologist Laura Goldstein, PsyD.

What Not To Do

  • Do not ignore the child’s pain. Surely there may not be visible signs, but that doesn’t excuse you from ignoring it. It will be essential that the child knows that you believe their pain.
  • Do not heavily focus on the pain. As Wilde has said, “everything in moderation”; and it sure does apply here. Doing the extreme opposite is also not healthy for the situation, as it may just worsen the psyche more.
  • Do not be over-protective. Children, especially older ones, may feel belittled when you do this. Your job is only to guide them, not control them or the environment around you.
  • Let the child speak for himself/herself.
  • Do not coddle the child. Just because pain is present doesn’t mean you can be lax on your parenting. Be on the lookout if the child attempts to manipulate the situation unjustly, and mete out consequences.
  • Do not chase a cause that isn’t there. Touring a whole host of specialists or piling the tests on a patient doesn’t help with the psychological aspect, and as such, isn’t recommended.
  • Do not let the pain define him/her. Draw attention to his/her talents instead of the condition. It could help with mental well-being.
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Self-Support

Dealing with a child in chronic pain may demand much out of you, and as such, you need to take care of yourself. After all, you could not adequately take care of your child if you’re also in an unfit state. Sometimes, it is ok to hang back, watch some Netflix, play a game, etc. Everyone has different ways and needs, but here are the more common ones:

  • Enough sleeping hours
  • Exercise
  • A balanced diet
  • Socialization
  • Enjoyable activities/hobbies

Do remember that it’s okay to seek professional help if it would for the better. Accept that sometimes, it’s ok to be human with weaknesses. “Therapy goes beyond survival to enhancing your life. “It can help people develop and foster passion, productivity, and balance in their lives,” said psychotherapist Chris Boyd, MA.

Categories: Pain Management

Chronic Pain In Children

 

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What Is Pain?

Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensation that happens when the body meets an unfavorable stimulus, acting as a warning system to prevent further injury to the body. That way, the body is protecting itself, allowing the affected part to heal safely. Usually, one experiencing pain should rest and if possible/applicable, seek medical help.

 

What’s Chronic Pain?

However, if the pain doesn’t stop after three months, even after the injury is healed. It is considered chronic pain.

Chronic pain can be caused by changes to the central nervous system and brain, continuing the pain to persist without the presence of an injury. Such pain can range from moderate to disabling and may affect, if not inhibit some activities children usually enjoy. “Over 1.7 million children in the United States are known to have chronic pain and that the cost of treating this pain is almost 20 billion dollars per year, chronic pain remains an invisible and under recognized health problem for kids and teens,” according to Rachael Coakley Ph.D.

Chronic pain may inhibit otherwise enjoyable activities at school, such as sports, social functions, among others.

It may cause hindrances never experienced before to otherwise routine tasks, such as chores, bathing, or even merely walking or climbing upstairs.

Such pain can also cause sleeping problems, and mood changes, which may entail anxiety and depression, and can lead to social isolation. “It seems obvious that experiencing a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, would be required for someone to be diagnosed. But some people who are diagnosed with depression do not report feeling depressed, sad or low, but rather, they report experiencing significantly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day. Either one, or both together, can be present when considering a diagnosis of depression.”Simon Rego, PsyD

Chronic Disease = Chronic Pain?

Many cases of chronic disease in children also entail chronic pain. Pain can be initially caused then prolonged by the chronic condition affecting him/her. Such children experience lifestyle and function changes mentioned previously. In such afflicted states, pain may be amplified by the central nervous system sending excessive pain signals from the body. This process makes a usually bearable pain more severe than it needs to.

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How To Determine Chronic Pain?

If you’re expecting/suspecting chronic pain in your child/children, look out for complaints of a stabbing, shooting, burning, or stinging feeling. Also, it may be continuous or may have brief episodes where it’s intense. All of this is caused by nerve damage, which leads to the nerves signaling to be out of whack.

Such pain can prove challenging to treat because the nerves aren’t working correctly. Because of that, otherwise painless activities may prove painful, such as when clothes rub on skin or shower water hits the afflicted area. With the pain processing being in an abnormal state, it also causes already painful episodes to be doubly so.

How Can You Treat Chronic Pain?

Due to the nature of chronic pain, different measures may need to be taken, because the usual pain medications that are called in may not be responsive to a child. Thus, alternative remedies are called upon for the damage in the central nervous system.

Medications include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical analgesics
  • Alternative treatments include:
  • Aromatics
  • Imagery
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
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Certain cases may require the use of nerve block. An anesthetic used to reduce the sense of feeling, thus reducing the pain, injected in the affected area.

If chronic pain is to be eradicated, it would also involve re-training the nerves sending abnormal signals. On-going physical therapy and generalized conditioning would be included in the process. A pain psychologist can also be consulted to explore feelings, discover relaxation techniques, and identify appropriate coping strategies for the benefit of the child’s functions and the gradual decrease of pain over time.

“For most parents, their initial reaction if their child is in pain is to coddle them and do anything they can to help alleviate the pain. We help them understand that what often works the best in chronic pain situations is to really just help the child focus on functioning. It can be a mindset shift for most parents,” a reminder by child psychologist Laura Goldstein, PsyD.

Categories: Pain Management

“I Have A Chronic Illness”: What Happens Next?

Are you suffering from a chronic pain that is challenging to deal with? Do you think it is difficult to get on with life now that you have been diagnosed with a severe medical condition? Is it okay to sit in the corner, break down, and cry because of the opportunities that you may lose because of your health issue? If you answered yes to these questions, then this article is perfect for you. Our post for today focuses on the different things that you need to do so that you can handle your chronic pain better. The best part of all is that we are going to share some tips and strategies from an excellent therapist.

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Categories: Pain Management

Small Things You Can Do To Cope With Stress Everyday

We all know how simple stress can eat our whole day, even our supposed good night of sleep. Stress discriminates no one. It can hit everyone- children, teenagers, and most especially the adults. Psychology, however, suggests that stress can also be beneficial to each one of us. “Working effectively with stress requires taking control of our responsibility and our attitude,” according to psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD. Even with the adverse effects, it brings us, experiencing stress also helps us to develop proper reactions to threatening situations.

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As a definition, stress means that reaction to a situation which we find uncomfortable, distressing, or naturally not favorable to us because such makes us threatened and anxious. True enough, if not adequately addressed, it can bring about adverse effects on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being in the long-run.

Below is the list of these small things that we can do to cope with stress every single day:

Add Healthy Food To Your Meals

Eat on time, and never try skipping meals because an empty stomach won’t help. Once you get hungry, go and buy or have something that will fill your empty stomach. However, make sure that the food you eat is healthy. Since stress has something to do with health, your diet must cooperate as well to keep you active and alive.

All the food we eat has an impact not only on our physique but also on our mental well-being. Most of the time, our meals are composed of food that is high in bad cholesterol, fats, and carbs that can aggravate our stress levels. Doctors have this diet for stress management, which composes of food that boosts levels of serotonin, also known as the “happy and calming chemical” of the brain.

Get Moving

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It does not mean a full-blast exercise or tiring workout sessions that eat your schedule. A simple walk in the neighborhood or a ten-minute walk or jog on the treadmill will do the work. It is one of the simplest ways to un-stuck those tight joints that you may have from sitting in your office the whole day. It will also allow you to breathe fresher air (if you opt to have a walk or jog outside) and to clear your view from the clutter of piles of documents which shouts work and stress.

Read Inspirational Quotes

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Better yet, start your day by reading one or a couple of inspirational quotes from social media or the internet in general. Most people are positively benefitted by reading motivational stories as it becomes their guide on their everyday lives. One quote a day will be your mind’s reason to move forward. An inspirational or motivational quote also helps in preventing negativities that trigger stress before we know it.

Learn To Pause For A While And Take A Break

Working hard does not mean working for eight hours without a break. Know when enough is enough for the day. Allocate time to stand up, crack those joints, flex a little, walk, and buy some refreshments, and connect with others. Do any of these when you think whatever it is that you are doing are already overloading.

Have Someone To Tell Your Day’s Activities To

Sometimes, the secret is to connect with others. Share how your day went with your best friends or any members of the family. This work wonders because we feel like we need someone to side with us and share our sentiments, especially with our problems. Most of the time, we need someone to make us laugh and a good friend, more often than not, bears this responsibility. “When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about,” said clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D.

However, it is essential that we keep in mind that these people themselves will not fix our stress problems for us. You may have their support, but the initiative to de-stress must also come within you.

Reflect

As soon as you find time to relax a little, think of what you have done so far. Trace the source of stress and ask yourself how to avoid it in the future, possibly. Rate your work and the way you handle your problems that day.

Create a balanced schedule in mind and the next small steps you have to undertake towards your goal. Most of the time, our stress comes from the unfinished task that we feel we cannot do before the deadline. Look at the big picture for inspiration but don’t forget the small steps you have to overcome first.

Stress, no matter how simple or small it is should not be taken lightly. Learn the power of de-stressing even at these minor instances. We may not know it, but stress management does not need complicated stuff to be successful. “Stress management starts by understanding how your body responds to stress,” according to John M. Grohol, Psy.D. It starts in the little things that each of us can do anytime.

Categories: Pain Management

The 2016 California International Conference On Bipolar Disorder

A person who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be challenging to deal with, which is why you have to be careful when connecting with this individual. Keep in mind that the level of care and prudence that you must show when it comes to dealing with the other person becomes heavier if you are dating him. “It helps individuals with bipolar disorder to understand what worsens and what triggers their illness,” says Stephen Ferrando, MD, director of psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center Health Network. In this article, we are going to look into the various tips discussed during the 2016 California international conference on bipolar disorder.

 

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Educate Yourself

 

The first thing that you must do is to learn more about the illness of bipolar disorder. This process is necessary so that you will stop making assumptions about the disorder. Fortunately, it is now easy to gather information about a particular topic since free resources are everywhere. You can access materials that are available on the Internet or from books written by experts.

 

Maintain Effective Communication

 

Another thing that you have to prioritize is making sure that you maintain honest communication with the other person. Make him feel that he can open up to you at any time so that his bipolar disorder will not get in the way of the relationship.

 

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Seek Professional Help For Him

 

Do not hesitate to consider seeking professional help for your partner if you believe that his bipolar disorder has transformed him into a different person. “The first line of intervention for bipolar disorder is medication,” says Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist. Take note that the services of a therapist or psychiatrist may come in handy during this challenging situation.

 

If your loved one is going through various challenges, be sure to promise yourself that you will never leave him no matter what happens. “A person with bipolar may lose their job or their relationships with other people,” says Dr. David Roane, MD, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Always remind yourself that you are patient and understanding. As long as you know how to deal with or handle the other person, there is nothing to worry about.

 

 

Categories: Pain Management

Basic Tips From 2016 Irving Health And Fitness Conference

The best part about attending big events or conferences is getting an opportunity to meet with excellent people. Most of the time, these individuals belong to the same industry or profession that you have. As such, it becomes easy for everyone to connect and realize that they have the same interests or likes. This is how I felt when I attended the 2016 Irving health and fitness conference. During this event, I learned a lot from the speakers and even the friends I met.

 

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I want to share some of the exciting techniques or strategies that I got from them during the said event. I have to say that showing up at the conference was one of the significant decisions I made in my life. Here are the ways on how one can remain fit and healthy.

 

Get Enough Sleep

 

Take note that there is a necessity on your part to rest because your body is not a machine. Setting healthy sleep habits when your child is young is key for their wellbeing”, said Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. You need to understand that sleep is essential for your day-to-day bodily functions. Because of this, it is ideal for you to get sufficient sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day.

 

Eat Right

 

Be sure to have a balanced diet a big part of your lifestyle. Learn how to choose your food intake and be smart enough to eat only those that have high nutrients. Keep yourself away from food items that are high in fat, cholesterol, and other harmful ingredients. Licensed professional counselor Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP  shares that “Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life.”

 

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Exercise Regularly

 

Make exercise an essential part of your routine,” as stated by Alex Korb Ph.D. Make it a habit to go to the gym or complete home exercises regularly. All you have to do is to budget your hours for a particular day and set aside at least thirty minutes for physical activities. It will not only help improve your health but also boost your mood.

 

Make sure to follow the items listed below if you want to achieve a better you.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Pain Management

Alleviate Pain With The 2015 Las Vegas Pain Management Conferences

The 2015 Las Vegas Pain Management Conferences delivered some of the best advice for those who suffer from pain. Each conference sparked an ideal and effective suggestion. Before sharing what these are, let us first understand pain.

The feeling of pain serves as an indicator that something’s wrong with your body.  It is the unpleasant sensation conveyed to your brain by your sensory neurons. Though other times, this may be a bothersome feeling. One’s sense of self and self-worth may be impacted by pain,” states pain psychologist Beth Darnall PhD. Pain comes from major injuries, but it is not limited to that. Pain may occur in the form of discomfort from diseases and emotional responses. Dealing with pain is a challenge, but here are three ways discussed in the conferences.

  1. Treatment And Medication

The easiest and most effective way to treat pain is through treatments and medications. Pain killers and analgesics are common over-the-counter medicines for light pain. These medicine help treat headaches, light sprains, and muscle pain.  For more serious cases, opioids are prescribed.

“Pain psychologists help people replace acute pain coping behaviors with chronic pain coping behaviors,” according to Thomas Rutledge Ph.D. Non-medication treatments for physical pain include therapies, massages, acupuncture, and surgery. Pain does not only come from the body, but it may also come from emotional stress. Psychotherapy and relaxation therapies are also good alternatives.

  1. Pain Is Mind Over Matter

Another method in dealing with pain is through thought. Some cases of emotional pain decrease with a proper mindset. Often, when you panic the pain increases. It is best to stay calm and believe that the situation won’t get worse. Whether it is a huge accident or sudden episode of distress, staying calm is always the best option.

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  1. Seek Help

Nothing is wrong with asking for help. There are forms of pain that aren’t directly treated. It includes psychological and emotional pain. Around these times, it is best to consult with a professional. The support of a close relative or friend may also go an extra mile. Chronic pain is challenging for providers to treat, but even more challenging for patients to live with,” stated by Joel Young, MD, a certified practitioner of geriatric and forensic psychiatry.

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These are but some of the pain management techniques discussed in the 2015 Las Vegas Pain Management Conferences. Make sure to attend their future conferences for more ideas!

Categories: Pain Management

5 Ways Love Impacts Your Well-Being 

Love has been defined in so many different ways over the years. Companionship, someone to share good and bad times with, watching Netflix at two in the morning, and so much more. It is a concept with a continuously growing definition.  

 

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Categories: Understanding Pain

Understanding The Types Of Cancer Pain

 

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What is a pain? It is something unpleasant, that’s for sure. It is felt physically and emotionally and may be linked with actual tissue damage. Beth Darnall PhD writes, “Pain can impact one’s ability to engage in activities and relationships with others.” Family members, friends, and significant others should well be aware of the kind of pain of their cancer patient and how to deal with it.

People feel and describe pain in different ways. Even those who have the same kind of cancer may have different descriptions of their pain. Pain is both a physical and psychological experience,” said Joel L. Young M.D. Pain is affected by an individual’s body type, his emotions, and ultimately by his environment. These factors all affect one’s brain, spinal, and nerves – collectively known as the nervous system. One’s experience and description of pain can also vary according to his health issues, his concept of pain, the type of cancer and its stage, and the kind of treatment he is receiving. Members of the healthcare team evaluate all these factors with the goal of helping relieve the pain.

Only the person in pain can clearly describe his pain appropriately. It can either be burning, gnawing, pinching, stabbing, sharp, steady, or aching. Your family, friends, and health professionals who are taking care of you will depend on your description and from there, they will work on your pain and its effect it will have on your life.

Cancer Pain

Cancer pain is a big word to describe the different types of pain that cancer patients may feel. According to statistics, there are six in ten cancer patients that claim they feel pain during treatment, with more than 60% of those with advanced stage cancer feeling more pain. Ironically, some don’t experience pain at all, while others say the pain comes and goes.

Causes Of Cancer Pain

Some common reasons for experiencing pain include:

  • A fracture if cancer has already spread to the bones
  • A tumor that has put pressure on nerves, bones, or vital organs
  • Effects of radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy
  • Poor circulation
  • Muscular rigidity from inactivity or tension
  • Infection and swelling
  • Poor body mechanics, which may lead to back pain, etc.

When the patient complains of new pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cancer has progressed to the advanced stage. It may just be that the patient has varying pain levels.

Types Of Cancer Pain

Pain, particularly cancer pain, can be classified according to the parts of the body that are affected or the length of time the pain lasts.

Acute Pain

Pain begins abruptly and ends for a short time, within days or weeks. Acute pain can be mild or severe, and it typically occurs when the body is hurt in some way. When the body is given time to rest and heal, the pain also disappears.

Chronic Pain

This is characterized by pain that persists for three months or more. People with chronic pain are three times more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety,” cited Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC. Chronic pain can be caused by an existing problem but can also develop way after the body has healed.

Nerve Pain

Neuropathic pain is a result of applied pressure on a nerve or spinal cord. It can also be caused by specific nerve damage. The pain is intermittent – it comes and goes – and people who have this type of pain complain of a burning or tingling sensation.

Breakthrough Pain

This pain occurs even if the patient takes his medications. Possibly, this may occur because the dosage is not sufficient to stop the pain or it occurs at varying times of the day. Flare-ups are typical with this pain, and one of its most common causes is anxiety.

Referred Pain

The person does not feel the pain exactly on the problematic area but in other areas of the body. For instance, the pain from an inflamed liver is felt on the right shoulder.

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Bone Pain

One of the severe pains felt is pain caused by bone damage, which may be due to metastasis of cancer to the bones. It is often characterized as dull, throbbing, or aching. It is mostly worse in the evenings.

Soft Tissue Pain

The pain is due to pressure on the soft tissue, including the muscles. Soft tissue pain is usually described as sharp or throbbing.

Phantom Pain

Also called ‘pseudo pain’ or ‘false pain,’ phantom pain is pain felt on a missing body part, such as leg pain after the leg has been removed, or a painful breast after mastectomy. It is quite difficult to manage with medications. Sometimes, relaxation techniques, heat, and exercise can help.

Pain Relief In Cancer

Cancer patients can take various pain relievers when they feel pain. It is better to drink medication and be relieved as soon as possible. However, if pain persists for days even after having taken pain medications, one should promptly call or see his doctor and ask for professional advice. The doctor must guide the patient on the dose and frequency of the pain medications he must take stronger meds.

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Patients can try the various pain relief methods once, twice, or even thrice. If the pain still persists on the first dose, try again before giving up. If, finally, after how many tries, the pain continues, do not try to take stronger medications without consulting your physician.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Pain Management

How To Handle An ALS Patient              

Finding out that a loved one has been diagnosed with ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can turn your life upside down. You will feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You are sad about the diagnosis, but you cannot allow the other person to see your suffering. While chronic illness changes your life, it doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying it,” said Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Otherwise, that loved one will experience your pain, which will ultimately make him feel ashamed about receiving your care or concerns. “Chronic pain also creates many stressors, which can lead to depression,” said Beverly Thorn, Ph.DDo not worry because we understand all these matters, which is why we have decided to write about the proper ways or methods to follow to deal with an ALS patient.

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You need to familiarize yourself with these:

Be Compassionate

Remember that the other person is experiencing or suffering from the adverse effects of the ALS illness. Because of this, it is imperative on your part to find a way to become more understanding to the said individual. Make it a habit to practice compassion so that the other person can feel that he is not a burden for you or anyone in the family. All you need to do is to become more compassionate at all times. 

Seek Help From Others

Do not forget to recognize your limitation as a human person. Accept the reality that you cannot handle everything on your own. Sometimes, all you have must do is to seek professional help from experts who know how to handle the situation of your loved one. Trust in them that they can provide the best care for the family member involved. At the same time, it is also best for you to ask help from friends and relatives during the times when you have urgent matters to attend to, and no one would be left to watch over him.

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Read About ALS

The only way to help and support someone with ALS is to find a way to understand the illness. There is a great necessity on your part to educate yourself more about what this condition is. Do not worry because there are several resources available online that you can access for free. However, make sure to verify or check the authenticity of the author of the articles as well as the authority of the site so that you can avoid misleading information or false claims. As much as possible, limit your searches to relevant and reliable sites all the time. If you need a detailed discussion about ALS, feel free to visit a medical doctor.

Have A Positive Mind

You need to start living a life that is full of positivity so that you can inspire the other person to develop a positive mind. “People who actively take charge of trying to control and manage their pain do better than those who do not,” according to Steve Bressert, Ph.D. Remember that an ALS patient feels a little down because of his current situation. He has a high tendency of being ashamed or embarrassed about his condition. At the same time, he will also suffer from the negative effects of self-pity. Because of this, it is crucial on your part to spread happiness and positivity into this person’s life. Make it a life goal to remain positive at all times.

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Whenever you start to doubt yourself, make sure to remember how far you’ve come on this journey. Do not give up easily and keep going. Change your belief system for a better life.

Categories: Understanding Pain