Stress is an everyday experience that no one is exempt from experiencing, whether the stressor is positive or negative. Combine that reality with a medical condition, and there is a noticeable increase in the stress level that can easily become overwhelming. Like other diagnoses, aniridia has an impact on those living with the condition and their families. One of the reasons this condition is so complex is the lack of knowledge about it in both the public and medical communities. Too often people respond with a “What?” when they hear the word aniridia, and that leaves the families to be the educators, when they are the ones who still need to be educated. Their frustration can easily build. There is frustration with the diagnosis, with the life changes, and with the frustration itself. Without recognition or acceptance of this frustration, and an appropriate outlet to help ease the situation, negative effects are likely. It is vital for those touched by aniridia to prepare for the inevitable stress. Parents must identify and accept themselves as the supporting structures of their families. If they are weakened, they will be less likely to support their children. Individuals with aniridia have enough barriers to overcome and must learn to prevent future obstacles such as stress from affecting their lives. Although stress is unavoidable, it is at times preventable and, most often, manageable. By and large, there are three types of stress: acute, episodic, and chronic. Acute stress is defined as short-term stress that does not result in any permanent damage. One can describe this as the daily stress that can be lived with and is experienced by all individuals (such as taking tests and driving in heavy traffic). The second stress, episodic stress, is more intense because it is the frequent suffering of acute stress. The sufferer views life as chaotic and constantly in crisis, epitomized by the expression “if something can go wrong, it will.”
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