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Episode6 Segment 3 - What are some challenges that a family can experience?

Fast Fact 1

All families
face challenges

Fast Fact 2

What is important
is how your
family responds
to challenges

Fast Fact 3

There are many
resources available
to help you deal
with challenges


All families face challenges from time to time. Some common challenges families face in addition to managing chronic pain include things like moving house, separation or divorce, parenting issues, pressure at work or school, unemployment and financial problems, illness or disability of a family member, death of a family member, drug, alcohol, gambling addiction, and domestic violence.

A problem or challenge in one area of your life can also affect other parts. Some problems can drain a lot of your energy and coping resources. It can make you so tired that you might not deal effectively with other stressful things that could be happening like conflicts with friends, exams, or assessment tasks. Sometimes when we are struggling to cope with our pain we might also become a bit more irritable with our family and less able to handle frustrations.

User Activity

This activity is designed to help you to identify problems and any challenges you and your family might currently be facing.

Instruction

Type in the box below key words to describe some of the other problems and challenges your family is facing at the moment. In addition to your pain and its impact on the family, you could include things like: changed schools, grandma is sick, brother is studying for the HSC, and so forth.

Challenge 1:

Challenge 2:

Challenge 3:

Challenge 4:

Identifying the stress related to family challenges

How much stress do you think these challenges add to your family?

Anyone who has ever tried juggling knows that it is much harder to juggle if you have too many balls or if one of the balls is much heavier than all the others. Everything seems to get out of balance. The same occurs with problems. If you are juggling too many challenges all at once or if one challenge is heavier or more stressful than the others, then life can get a bit out of balance. It can be hard to juggle or cope with everything at once.

User Activity

This activity is designed to help you rate the challenges you and your family are currently facing.

Instruction

Listed in each row below are your family challenges from the previous activity.

Under each row is a thermometer. Rate your challenge from 0 - 10, where 0 is Not Stressful and 10 is Extremely Stressful.

Challenge 1: 
0
Not
stressful
10
Extremely
stressful
Challenge 2: 
0
Not
stressful
10
Extremely
stressful
Challenge 3: 
0
Not
stressful
10
Extremely
stressful
Challenge 4: 
0
Not
stressful
10
Extremely
stressful

Now that you have considered how stressful challenges can be, talk to your family. They may have some solutions or can assist in finding and accessing help outside of the family.

Just like you can be more short tempered when you are dealing with the challenge of your pain, your family may be short tempered, argue or be upset related to a whole range of stresses and challenges, and your pain is only one of these.  So if family members are stressed, it might be for many reasons other than your pain. If things are particularly stressful at home and you were worried about bothering your family with your problems, there are other places where you can get support – for example your school counsellor and your GP. They can help you access other help too. There’s also lots of help out there for families. Have a look at the handout for a few ideas.