Illness & anger

Being angry is common around negative experiences. It is therefore, important that anger is dealt with, particularly as anger has a way of controlling us if we don’t control it.

From what I have seen when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness and they’re angry, it’s usually because anger is the underlying trait that makes up their character, in one way or another. Being terminally ill tends to tip us over the edge. I don’t believe it’s something that occurs, just because we’re dealing with a terminal illness.

Some of us find it difficult to talk about how we feel and will hide our emotions, particularly if those emotions are associated with sadness, anger or fear. Being terminally ill, automatically brings about both of those emotions. I have never been around people with a terminal illness who have been willing to talk about their illness. I believe, however that talking about how we feel, can make a difference between acceptance and non-acceptance of our illness, particularly if our illness turns out to be terminal.

The thought of being terminally ill can bring about negative and angry feelings, but can also bring about positive feelings too. What usually follows is a person’s determination to remain upbeat about their illness. They have a sense of commitment to fight and remain positive in the initial stages of their illness. I have seen that too.

Although initially it’s the patient that has to deal with their illness, their family also needs to work through it. When our loved ones fail to stay calm and are angry all the time, it makes it hard anyone to cope. No one wants to be around angry people.

Unfortunately, anger will always stop a person from finding a level of calm and acceptance. In some cases, but not all, it can make a difference to their emotional and physical recovery.


3 Mar, 2012

4 thoughts on “Illness & anger

  1. My mother never talked about being terminally ill.

    In fact she wanted to shield her kids from the fact she was dying. She told my father she did not want us to know, but of course he told us. I never saw her angry but who knows what was going on inside her head.

    She did not share her feelings. I think she was very scared. But she was determined to live for as long as she could.

    1. My mother never discussed her illness either, but she once said that she was never scared to die, just how she would die. Her spiritual beliefs were very strong. She was very calm and had no anger.

      I think you’re right Randy. Our parents were of the generation where they would shield us from a terminal illness, but in the longer term I’m really not sure how beneficial it was. We still have to get to this stage without the help or reassurance.

      I believe it’s important to be able to talk about these things. It stops us from being angry or scared about dealing with a terminal illness and then possibly death.

  2. Neither of my parents were angry when they found out they had cancer, especially dad. He just gave into it and let the cancer have it’s way. Mom on the other hand is a fighter and the strongest person I’ve ever known.

    I admire her for her strength. She has had to deal with so much. I was angry both times with my father’s illness and with moms, but I got over it.

    1. I’m pleased your parents weren’t angry Lisa. It will have made things easier for your family.

      I know the transition between being well and having a terminal illness can affect us in more ways than we think it will. The shock of being told a parent is terminally ill can bring about anger.

      I am pleased you’re now over your feelings of being angry.

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