Life with Chronic Illness: Social and Psychological Dimensions

By Ariela Royer | Go to book overview

6
Factors Affecting Normalization

A primary set of normalization tasks involves preserving a reasonable emotional balance by controlling upsetting and negative feelings aroused by the illness. Anxiety and apprehension caused by not knowing what will happen next, feelings of inadequacy, and resentments in the face of difficult demands are understandable and inevitable, yet these feelings must be managed so that the more mundane tasks of learning to deal with these demands can be undertaken.

Many respondents talked about having to control negative emotions such as a sense of failure or inferiority, and two people in particular talked about feelings of self-blame, possibly for past wrongdoings. Two other persons mentioned being extremely depressed, even suicidal, particularly at the onset of their illness:

Well, when I first come out of the hospital, the first four months, I was, like, depressed. Like I told you, I had that terrible pain in the arm. . . . I thought I don't want to go on like this, you know, . . . so I thought of committing suicide. . . . Why go on living like this, you know, but just in agony and going to dialysis three times

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