Coping with a birthmark whether it is your own, your
child's, or another family member is not always easy. It can often
be a long journey, with your own feelings and emotions to cope with
as well as other people's reactions.
One of the most important things to recognise is that everyone
will have different ways of coping with and accepting a birthmark,
some individuals requiring more support than others. What we aim to
do is provide a list of resources that cover different forms of
advice and support for coping, hoping you can find something that's
right for you.
Coping with people's reactions
One of the hardest aspects can be coping with the reactions of
others. Staring and comments can be an unwanted intrusion in to
what may already be a difficult time. Accepting that this is likely
to happen and preparing for when it does can be one of the first
steps to making it easier.
For example, consider how best to describe your or your child's
birthmark in a way others should understand so you are ready to
respond confidently if you are asked. This can often curb further
questions, and reassure someone that there is nothing to be
concerned about. One of our members created small cards that she
could hand out if she wasn't feeling confident enough to explain
herself. As well as including brief information about the
birthmark, giving details of the Birthmark Support Group provides
somewhere for them to go to find out more.
Making eye contact and greeting people with a smile lets people
see you are confident and have nothing to be ashamed of. Although
on the inside this may not be completely true all of the time,
strangers don't need to know that!
Coping with your own birthmark
Accepting and learning to cope with your own birthmark is not
always an easy road. From becoming aware sometime in childhood that
there is something that makes you stand apart from others, to
developing your own identity as a teenager and growing into
adulthood there can be many challenges along the way. As well as
the physical aspect of looking different, having a birthmark can
also affect psychological health and this is often overlooked.
Family and friends often provide key support, but some may need to
explore other avenues to aid their own wellbeing.
Whether the support you require is information on camouflage make-up,
details on how to seek medical treatment, or finding
someone to help you work through the emotional aspects of having a
birthmark, we can help you find what you need.
Coping as a parent
As a parent of a child with a birthmark the journey can start
from the moment they are born or their birthmark is recognised.
Coping with your own emotions as you accept there is something that
makes your child a little bit different can be hard, and not
something they teach you in pregnancy classes! There is then the
process of getting a diagnosis, possibly followed by difficult
decisions on what treatment to undergo or accepting the 'wait and
see' approach, sometimes it is difficult to know the right answer.
As your child grows the task is then to help them understand their
birthmark and the challenges they may face.
The Birthmark Support Group is here to help if you feel
overwhelmed with the task at hand. We are here to talk to and can
also direct you to resources that will help ease your journey. At
the bottom of this page you will find links to some external sites
that provide a good starting point.
Talking to others going through similar experiences can also be
reassuring and help to know you are not alone. Our online
community and our Facebook
group are here to help you do just that.