Surviving the Worst

June 5, 2003

When someone in the family gets diagnosed with a chronic illness, relationships may change. You may be expected to act as a compassionate caregiver at all times, or you may no longer be able to do the activities you once loved doing together.

You may feel sad, scared, frustrated or angry. And then you may feel guilty about not being more sympathetic. Only one person may be infected, but everyone is affected. Dr. Phil looks at how you can cope and how to redefine relationships.



Terri suffers from a chronic illness. Her husband David is frustrated that she's sick all the time, and wants to know: Where does the disability end and laziness start?

 

 



Heather, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, desperately needs a lung transplant. She also needs her mom, a respiratory therapist, to let down her wall and be there for her.


 


Rosemary, a single mom, has battled breast cancer for two years. "I feel I don't know how to give Christian his childhood back," she says of her 10-year-old son who's become her caretaker. 


 


View their stories and Dr. Phil's advice.