Back to Home Page
PROFESSIONAL COLUMNS


Relationships
Weight Loss Today
Urogynecology Today
Dentistry Today
Letter from the Chairman
WebWorks
Endocrinology Today



COLUMNS BY
Dr. Bill Austin



What Is Your Bread?

The Power of Quiet Time

Growing The Bottom Line

When

What’s It Like to Retire?

Creating a Safe Relationship

Disease and Relationships

Trying to De-Stress

Stress Reduction

Empathy

Your Dog Can’t Swim

What kind of listener do you want me to be?

Dealing with Criticism

Run Your Own Race, Part II

Run Your Own Race

The Next Chapter in Our Lives

Creating New Normals

Beating the Holiday Blues

Emotional Triggers

“You’re with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company” —Diane Von Furstenburg

The grace of forgiveness

Trying to blend a blended family

The Umbrella Story

How Disease Impacts A Relationship

Overcoming the Holiday Blues

Talking Dog for Sale

Trying to Blend a Blended Family

The Worst Beating I Ever Took

“It’s my fault!”

You had it last!

It's All About Me!

The grace of forgiveness

Cooling the brain

Life's Puzzle-Box Top

Simon Says

Unenforceable Rules

Stone Face

It's All About Me!

You Lost That Loving Feeling

Don't Tell Me What To Do

Do it now

No Opportunity to Repair

The Umbrella Story

How Do We Express Our Love?














Search Our Site


- OR -





RECENT GATHERINGS


10th Annual Ping Pong for CHARITY Fundraiser



Business to Business Expo



Aberdeen Barn – A fabulous place to celebrate!



Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office “18 Strong”



Do It For the Kids! CrossFit Krypton Hosts Compete for a Cure















Professional Columns -
Relationships by Dr. Bill Austin





DISEASE AND RELATIONSHIPS

Serious illness can negatively impact relationships, creating tension and stress. The person who is ill may experience a lot of anger because they feel trapped and controlled by the disease. New limitations and restrictions have taken away the freedom to do the things they used to do. The disease has sapped the patient’s energy, so they don’t feel like doing much. They may feel exhausted and weary doing the activities they used to enjoy.


Click for Larger Image

Disease and Relationships printer friendly version  Printer Friendly

  Email to a Friend

Medication and appointments now control their time and energy. They have to adjust from being independent to being somewhat dependent on others. Then there is the financial stress and the frustration of bills mounting up and trying to navigate the often confusing realm of health care insurance. They may feel guilty because their illness has changed their lives and strapped them financially. Anger and weariness are constant companions. Beneath the anger are the feelings of unfairness and powerlessness. Where does that anger go? Either they bottle it up and feel depressed, or unload it on their caregiver. They become what some call "the prosecutor." They may feel like the caregiver is not doing enough for them. It is a situational anger.

It is also
helpful to remember:
all feelings are acceptable,
but all behavior is not.

The caregiver can become the prosecutor as well. They can have a lot of the same feelings as the ill person—feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated, like they never have time for themselves, and that they’re always exhausted. Being tired most of the time leaves them with little patience. They may feel isolated and alone because they believe they're not getting enough support or understanding from family and friends. All this leaves them angry, so they take their anger out on their partner. They do this knowing that their loved one did not sign up for this disease. They find themselves feeling guilty over the anger clashes. It is a stressful and tiring time for both the caregiver and the patient.

When your patients are going through a serious illness, it can be helpful to talk with them about coping mechanisms to help them deal with the emotions they’re feeling. If they and their caretaker can disengage and recognize that what they are feeling is situational anger, that could save the relationship. Breathing exercises, taking a walk, or calling an uninvolved friend are all good disengaging tactics. It is also helpful to remember: all feelings are acceptable, but all behavior is not.

Another way to help them reduce the sense of isolation is by encouraging them to find a support group. Within a group, patients and caretakers can find friendship as well as empathy and understanding that is hard to find among people who haven’t shared their situation.




Dr. Austin has decades of experience dealing with relationships. He charges clients on a sliding scale according to their ability to pay. His first book, Creating Our Safe Place: Articles on Healthy Relationships, was published in 2004. His second book, Keeping It Safe, was published in 2009 and can be purchased through amazon.com, publishamerica.com, and at the Parrish Book Store in Virginia Beach.  He is also a sought-after speaker at meetings and seminars.

Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 757-623-2700











Doctor to Doctor Magazine
133 Kempsville Rd.,
Chesapeake, VA 23320

Tel: (757) 547-0520













Web Site Definition & WebUpdate Showcase™ Site Management Coding © Internet Marketing and Design    
     All Website Content © Doctor to Doctor Magazine