How to Overcome Traumatic Hospital Experiences of Loved Ones
Hospitals can be terrifying places at the best of times, but no more so than when a loved one is admitted. The uncertainty and nerves surrounding an illness can make each day a struggle. But, it is important to remember that this is the best place a loved one can be when in need of medical help. Professionals with years of training and experience are on hand 24/7 to care for them while tests are run and if needed surgeries are carried out. However, the harsh reality is that not all illnesses can be cured, and sometimes medicine can’t help a loved one. Having someone you care about die can be heartbreaking and multiple questions and concerns circle your mind. Did you fail them? Did the hospital do everything they could? Could it have been caught sooner? While natural that you may feel this negative energy, you may find it useful to understand the truth surrounding the traumatic hospital experience. If you are suffering doubts, then read on to learn more about how to overcome this experience and move on.
They Were in the Best Place
If you’ve ever had to experience watching over a loved one in a hospital, then you might understand the scared, nervous feelings people have when leaving them overnight for the first time. Whether you arrived via A&E or have known your loved one would be on a ward for a while, leaving them on that first day can be terrifying. Even every night after that can be terribly worrying, and sometimes you can blame yourself for not preventing this from happening in the first place. However, you need to remind yourself that they are in the best possible place for care and as much as you wished you were a miracle worker, and a hospital wasn’t necessary, in reality, your loved one has a better chance at getting better there than anywhere else. In reality, a hospital has all the things necessary to relieve your loved one of pain and are available 24/7 to care for them even towards the end.
Everything That Could Have Been Done Was
Another thought you might be plagued with if your loved one passed away in a hospital is that not enough was done for them. Hospitals have the best equipment and the most knowledgeable and skilled doctors, nurses and masterminds in all sorts of medical fields. These people have studied for years to become some of the best carers in the country. The stark truth is that not every illness can be cured. When something is recognised or caught too late, there is not much that can be done. You might think that this means that not enough was done for your loved one or blame yourself. But sometimes getting better isn’t possible for your loved one, and you may come to recognise that they were surrounded by people who wanted to help them up to their last day.
There’s No Shame in Being Unable to Help
Just like leaving a loved one in the hospital is hard, leaving them in the hands of people can feel horrible. You might wish that there was something you could do to help them. When you realise there is nothing to do, you might feel shame for leaving your loved one’s fate in the hands of strangers. It is important to remember here that while you may feel angry, guilty, and inadequate, these strangers are trained professionals and will do everything to help, and can provide much better care than yourself. This isn’t a thought to be shamed by but instead, make you feel more relieved and hopeful as you know your loved one is getting much better care in the appropriate place. Never feel like because you didn’t ‘care enough’ for them or have a medical degree you are the reason they are in a hospital or died; it is never your fault.
You Provided the Best Support When You Could
Having a loved one in a hospital or passing away is undoubtedly a traumatic experience. Sometimes this can mean flashbacks, nightmares and sleep problems for people who have found that their loved one has deteriorated rapidly, or who have lived with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they would survive. This is particularly true for people who have lost a close friend or relative in an accident, as their lives are turned upside down. Because this happened so unexpectedly, it can feel surreal for a long time after the event itself. You may feel a high level of anxiety and depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and anger may come to the surface. You may feel numb and empty and fear returning to work. If you continue to have bad dreams, feel on edge, and lack motivation, the first step to feeling better is to seek out professional support. Be kind to yourself and remember that recovery takes time.
Sometimes you just need outside help to overcome experiences like this and understand that you shouldn’t feel guilty for what has happened, or just to have someone to talk to about coping with the experience. Therapy can provide the outside perspective and advice you need to change your view and start healing. If you are interested in therapy and want to learn more about my services, then contact me today.