We know that people with CF and their caregivers are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population. Research has shown this to be true time and time again. But there’s a bit of a gap in the literature: how does CF affect the children of those living with it?
Generally speaking, it is known that children of chronically ill or disabled parents are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. But this isn’t something that’s widely discussed in the CF community (at least not to my knowledge).
It used to be that people with CF didn’t live long or healthy enough lives to raise children, so up to this point, I don’t think there’s been much focus on how CF affects the children of parents living with it. All of that is changing, thanks to medical advances and scientific breakthroughs.
We’re really the first generation of people with CF who are commonly having families and raising children. We’re blazing that trail — which is amazing — but it also means that there’s so much we don’t know yet. There will definitely be challenges along the way.
My daughter struggles with anxiety related to my health and separation from me (which is closely tied to my health, since hospitalizations have been the main reason we’ve had to spend time apart). It’s a really difficult thing to manage, even though I actively try to address her concerns. My own mental health has been so deeply affected by CF, it only makes sense that my daughter would have similar struggles.
Is this something you can relate to? Does your child (or children) struggle with anxiety related to your health? How do you address this issue?