CHD can affect you during the teen years differently than your peers, physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Learning what some of these differences might be for you can help you adjust and deal with them so you can stay healthy and act just like many other teens.
The most important thing to remember is that you are loved and cared for, and it is important to celebrate our differences. You may find yourself feeling down some days and this is normal. There are things you can do to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. There are also times when you may not be able to go it alone.
Talk about your physical appearance with trusted friends and family. They understand your illness and can help you feel confident in who you are, and help create solutions for challenges you face. Discuss with a parent/guardian ways to answer questions people may ask you about your appearance.
Learn about your medications, when and how to take them, and possible side effects of treatment. Discuss with those you trust (parents, guardians, providers) options that may exist for coping with, reducing, or possibly eliminate side effects. One example is increased acne, that may be treated by a dermatologist, or by talking to your provider about alternative medications. Make sure your cardiologist is aware of these concerns and can help you to manage any possible interactions with other medicines or treatments.
Don’t hold yourself back from activities you enjoy. Get involved in things you take pride in or like doing such as music, art, writing, robotics, or other clubs and activities. Spending time on things you enjoy is a great way to avoid focusing too much on concerns you may have about your outward appearance
Talk with your doctor about recreational sports or clubs you can get involved in. Learn about what you need to know and do to be able to participate in a way that feels normal and comfortable.
It is important to acknowledge days and times when you may feel down or sad, as much as it is important to acknowledge days and times when you feel good or happy. There are some resources that can help you identify when it is just a brief period, or when you might want to ask for help.
It is okay to want to talk with someone about how you feel, and there are many options from a trusted friend, a provider, or a mental health counselor. No matter what challenges you face, you are not alone, it is okay to feel how you feel, and it is okay to talk to someone who can help.
Healthy Lifestyle & Healthy Heart