Illness and being in hospital

Having worries about your health or being in hospital can feel overwhelming. Whatever’s happening, you don’t have to manage it on your own.

Feeling anxious about your health

Being ill or going into hospital can bring up lots of different feelings, and it’s natural to have questions. You might feel worried about:

  • having to stay in hospital
  • things hurting or being uncomfortable
  • whether things will change or be different for you
  • what will happen in the future
  • what other people might say or think.

If you’re struggling with how you’re feeling or anything else, you can speak to a Childline counsellor about anything that’s happening.

5 ways to feel calmer:

Coping with hospital and treatment

It can feel scary thinking about staying in hospital, receiving treatment, or having a procedure. But you don’t have to cope alone.

It’s important to make sure you know who’s there to support you in your medical team. Remember that you can ask questions any time about what’s happening, even if you’ve asked it before.

Whatever’s happening, there’s advice that can help:

Waiting for a diagnosis

It can sometimes take time for your doctor or medical team to fully understand what’s happening. You might need to repeat things to different people and have different tests.

It can feel frustrating not having an answer, upsetting when it’s having an impact on your life or leave you feeling like you don’t have any control.

We’re here to support you while you’re waiting, and you can talk to a Childline counsellor at any time during your diagnosis and treatment. As well as talking to us, it might help to:

  • get support from people going through the same thing, either locally or anonymously on the Childline message boards
  • talk to your doctor or someone you trust to find out what’s happening
  • spend time with people you care about and your friends whenever you can
  • speak to a teacher you trust about getting help with schoolwork, if you need it
  • always check any information you find online with your medical team.

Living with illness and injuries

Learning to live with a long-term illness or injury can take time. Everyone is different. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to cope alone.

Worrying about someone else

It can feel scary or upsetting seeing someone you care about get ill or knowing that they’re going through a difficult time.

There are lots of things you can do that could help:

  • Remember that it’s not all on you
    Being a good friend can be a big help, but it’s important to remember that it’s not all your responsibility. It can help to talk to an adult you trust about someone you're worried about.
  • Help them to get support
    You could help your friend speak to someone, get support or talk to Childline.
  • Listen to them
    Asking someone how they’re feeling and listening to them can make a big difference to someone. Remember that people might not always be ready to talk, but it’s okay to let them know you’re there for them.
  • Spend time together
    Spending time doing things you both enjoy can be a good distraction and a reminder that things can feel positive.
  • Help them ask questions
    Remind the person you care about that they can ask questions if they need to, and help them to write down anything they want to ask about.
  • Ask for help when you need it
    Supporting someone else can be a big responsibility, if you’re not sure what to do, you’re struggling or need to talk then you can always speak to Childline.