THERE ARE SOME WORDS THAT THE YOUNG ADULTS WE WORK WITH USE TO DESCRIBE WHAT IT CAN FEEL LIKE TO LIVE WITH A BURN INJURY.Transition Stories
“I was ready for the next step in my burns care”
Even if your injury was small, it will still mean that in some way or another you have had to learn to deal with a changed appearance. Young adulthood can be a time when appearance is particularly important to us all. We are also having to deal with lots of other ‘transitions’, like leaving school, going to college or university or finding a job. You are meeting lots of new people and your social world around you is changing and expanding. You may also be beginning to think about more intimate relationships. This is a really challenging time for most young adults, but can be even harder when you are feeling self aware due to scars from your burn injury.
Changes in emotions
Young adulthood can be a fun time, but it is also pretty tough! With or without a burn injury, you’re at a stage where you don’t feel like a child anymore and neither do you feel ready to take up all the responsibilities that adulthood brings with it. There are many challenges specific to young adulthood. We have highlighted some of these below. Sometimes it can help to understand that you are not alone in having these feelings or difficulties.
How you might be feeling
Changing hormones can mean that it is really common for young adulthood to feel like an emotional rollercoaster. You can often feel a strong need to express yourself, or put forward your views as an independent adult. This can sometimes lead to saying the wrong thing, or friction with others and a feeling that no one understands you. This can lead to feelings of frustration and anger.
In young adulthood there is also a strong need to be accepted and fit in with other people your age. Being an accepted part of a group is a normal primal instinct. It is usual though for there to be clashes of character or opinions and this can leave you feeling left out, hurt or lonely. Sometimes in an effort to fit in you can find yourself being led into situations that you are not too happy about, but are not sure what else to do. For example, using drugs, getting involved in crime or pushing boundaries with your parents, like staying out late. It can take time before you find a friendship group that you fit with. Along with a need for acceptance, there is also an urge to stand out and show the world that you can cope on your own. This can be harder than anticipated and plans might not always work out!
What might be going on in your body
Again hormone changes and stress can lead to physical changes too, such as problems like acne. Weight gain and obesity are common problems in recent years because of the sedentary lifestyles we live, lack of exercise and access to unhealthy food. Whilst obesity is bad for your health, it can also cause psychological problems, like low mood, low self esteem and anxiety.