Illness & disability
Coping with your feelings
Having a serious or ongoing health problem sometimes can hurt your emotional health. You can get help though. Learn more about depression, anxiety, and other common mental health conditions.
Being a teen sometimes is like riding a roller coaster. It can be both fun and scary at the same time. It’s perfectly normal for you to feel confused, stressed about fitting in, and just plain moody. Of course, just because these feelings are normal doesn’t mean they’re easy to deal with. And having an illness or disability certainly can add to your load. But you can learn some great steps to help you deal with life’s bumps, both big and small.
If you have an illness or disability, it may take time to learn ways to cope. Skills for coping take practice. And everybody has different ways they deal. You might like reading about your problem while your friend might like writing about hers.
One way to handle an illness or disability is to try doing stuff you’ve always enjoyed. Another is to focus on how strong and responsible you’re being by taking good care of your health. Want more ideas? Read "Dealing with a Health Condition."
Check out lots more information about coping with your feelings in this section of girlshealth.gov, including finding support, ways to build self-esteem, and how to deal with the changes that illnesses and disabilities can bring.
Are you stressed? top
Everyone feels stressed out at times (even your calmest teacher!). Family fights or relationship troubles certainly can twist you up inside. There also might be times when your illness or disability weighs on you. Learning how to manage day-to-day stress is an important life skill. That’s because stress that builds up over time can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Check out our section on handling stress for tips on how to deal.
Are you moody or down? top
Being sad, frustrated, or grumpy sometimes is normal, especially if you’ve got medical issues to deal with. Cheering yourself up definitely is possible — and worth the effort. Try these tips to boost your mood:
- Remember that the teen years can be full of ups and downs. You’re not the only one having these feelings. Talking to other teens, especially ones dealing with medical issues, can help you remember that fact.
- Find a way to relax. Try sitting down and taking a deep breath or taking a shower.
- Talk it out. Tell your friends, parents or guardians, teachers, counselors, or doctors what you are feeling. They can help you sort through your emotions and help you to feel less alone.
- Get going! When you are physically active, your brain makes endorphins, which are natural “feel-good” chemicals. So swim some laps, wheel yourself around the block if you're in a wheelchair, or clean the house with extra energy.
- Get enough rest. Feeling rested can help you cope better — and feeling tired can make everything seem so much worse.
To learn more about dealing with sadness and the difference between feeling down and having depression, check out Why Am I So Sad?
Content last updated February 16, 2011