Advances in medical care have made it possible for children with disabilities, injuries, and serious chronic conditions to not only survive but also to thrive. Regardless of the severity of the condition, parents experience multiple challenges and unique stressors related to their child’s illness. Some research shows that 80% of parents with chronically ill children experience chronic sorrow.

Examples of conditions in children that may cause chronic sorrow for parents and caregivers include:

  • Developmental disorders
  • Neural tube defects such as spina bifida
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Mental disorders such as bipolar or schizophrenia diagnoses.

Any event that magnifies the loss and disparity between reality and the life once dreamed of can trigger the profound sadness known as chronic sorrow. While chronic sorrow is pervasive, permanent, and periodical in nature, it is also interwoven between times of happiness and satisfaction.