Tips to manage chronic illness teens

Last Updated: May 25, References. This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 70, times.

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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Relaxation Tips for Parents of Children with Chronic Illness

Therapy for Chronic Illness

Emotional support for children with medical conditions. Your child may need extra support to manage the distress that comes with being sick. An illness can make kids feel different and lonely. They may miss school, activities or time with friends. And if a child is diagnosed young and stays sick into their teens, it can disrupt normal emotional growth. Kids need structure. You can help young kids by reading them stories about illness, so they see other kids going through the same thing.

Practicing medical things on a doll can make them feel more in control. Rewards like stickers for following a treatment plan can also help. They may also want more control over their treatment. Acting out in school or having a lot of headaches and stomachaches unrelated to their illness can also be signs that they need support. Other warning signs are things like fighting with friends, not enjoying usual hobbies, or a drop in grades.

Talk therapy, CBT and family therapy can all be helpful. When a child has a medical condition, families are, naturally, focused on finding and maintaining the most effective care.

In fact, parents are often more upset than their children, and if they are struggling it can impact their child as well. The most common issues kids with medical diagnoses face are depression and anxiety, says clinical psychologist Lauren Latella, PhD.

As a result of these disruptions in their day-to-day lives, kids with medical conditions often feel left out or self-conscious.

Depending on their age, these feelings can lead to behavioral issues, anxiety and depression. Not all children will struggle, however. Some, especially younger children, may not fully understand what is wrong. If the people around them help them feel comforted and secure, they may be resilient and act like any other child.

Some factors that make a child more likely to struggle are:. In some situations, children may be less affected than their parents.

Or if a parent is feeling like their child is very fragile or in danger, the child may start thinking that, too, and it can affect their self-identity and ability to be resilient. Parents might also have a hard time setting limits, which can make kids feel anxious and start acting out. Some parents can even develop post-traumatic stress disorder. For parents who need help processing their own feelings, reaching out to a mental health professional can be an important first step to feeling secure, both for them and their child.

Many parents want to protect their children from the difficult and painful realities of having a medical illness. But, says Dr. Howard recommends to always pair that description with an explanation of what you are doing to help the child get better in order to help the child feel empowered. When kids get to be older, they may want or need to take more control over their treatment, but they may also be less adherent. Latella says. The best way for parents to respond to this behavior is by involving the adolescent as much as possible in decision making and conversations, so they can feel like they have some control over their treatment.

Parents should also set clear, consistent messages about what is expected of the adolescent to manage their behaviors. Latella suggests making contracts with teens about medication adherence and other aspects of managing their illness.

And then to do your best to give your child as normal a life as you possibly can. This includes continuing to set the same behavioral expectations and boundaries you would with a healthy child. If kids are medically able, they need to complete school work and continue to help around the house in the same way their healthy siblings do.

Younger kids and adolescents will most likely have different reactions to the stress brought on by a medical condition and everything that goes along with it since they understand illness in a different way as they get older. Younger kids between the ages of three and ten who worry about their condition, Dr. Latella explains, are more likely to exhibit behavioral symptoms, like being oppositional and other kinds of acting out.

In adolescents, stress manifests more as depression and disruption of interpersonal relationships. Warning signs in kids ages ten to eighteen include:. There is a lot that clinicians can do to mitigate the experience of having a chronic medical condition and it all starts with talking opening and honestly with your child at a level that is appropriate for their age.

For younger kids, Dr. Latella says mental health clinicians may work with younger kids in the following ways:. For teens who are more prone to depression and anxiety than behavioral symptoms, the therapy is different.

Therapy for older kids focuses on:. Get this as a PDF. Enter email to download and get news and resources in your inbox. Share this on social. What are the warning signs that a child needs mental health care? Quick Read. Full Article. How a medical diagnosis can impact your child. Guidelines for older children. Signs that your child needs professional help. How clinicians can help your child. Topic: Supporting Healthy Development. Juliann Garey. Juliann Garey is a journalist, novelist and clinical assistant professor at NYU.

Her work has appeared in the New York … Read Bio. Was this article helpful? Explore Popular Topics. Behavior Problems. Learning Disorders. View More Topics. Subscribe to Our Newsletters. Stay connected.

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The concept of self-management is based on the notion that it will improve wellbeing and strengthen self-determination and participation in health care, while reducing health care utilisation and health costs. Promoting self-management in young people with chronic illness can be difficult for parents and health care practitioners. As children mature through adolescence, they increasingly want their own voice to be heard, as well as the right to privacy and confidentiality in health care consultations. As well as listening to parents and supporting their roles, doctors should see young people alone for part of the consultation, taking a psychosocial history and carefully maintaining confidentiality. R ecognition of the growing burden of chronic illness has led to health policy responses, both globally 1 - 4 and in Australia, increasingly referring to self-management.

Family Therapy: During these sessions, which include parents, siblings and the child with the illness, the therapist encourages parents to model open.

Engaging young people with a chronic illness

Skip to content. Adolescence, alone, is a stressful developmental process even for physically healthy teens. Chronic illness occurring during adolescence further complicates adolescent development. The chronic disorder, treatment requirements, hospitalization, and surgery when necessary all intensify concerns about physical appearance, interfere with the process of gaining independence, and disrupt changing relationships with parents and friends. Also, adolescent developmental issues complicate a teen's transition toward taking responsibility for managing their illness and learning to comply with recommended treatment. Adolescents who are faced with acute or chronic illness are more likely to experience increased concerns and fears when their illness or healthcare needs conflict with the following normal developmental issues:. Body image issues. Adolescents are normally focused on the physical changes occurring in their bodies. Chronic illness intensifies these concerns with fears or distortions related to their illness such as fearing a surgical scar will interfere with physical attractiveness or the ability to wear certain clothes. It is helpful to:.

How My Chronic Illness Shaped the Pandemic for My Kids

tips to manage chronic illness teens

Navigating adolescence is difficult, especially with the added complexity of a chronic illness. They may be understandably nervous about a young person taking control, or be critical of perceived bad decision-making, particularly with regards to adherence to a treatment plan. General practitioners GPs are in the middle of this power shift around illness management. They can advise and manage parental stress, while at the same time, support a young person to develop greater autonomy.

In children and adolescents, a chronic illness is defined as any condition — physical, emotional, or mental — that lasts several months or more, which prevents an individual 17 years or younger from engaging in their regular activities. Chronic illnesses represent significant burden to individuals and to the healthcare system as a whole.

Self-management in adolescents with chronic illness. What does it mean and how can it be achieved?

Metrics details. Results showed increased vulnerability in adolescents living with CC, presenting a lower satisfaction with family life and poor school outcomes. Younger boys, having a higher SES and not having CC are significantly associated with satisfaction with family life. Older girls, having a lower SES and living with CC were associated with more stress related to school work. Research that compares adolescents with and without a chronic condition CC , or different diseases, has been contradictory Combs-Orme et al. Some studies suggest an increased risk in chronic population Barlow and Ellard , while others suggest the possibility of a successful adaptation Barros et al.

Managing Chronic Conditions

Call us at Request an Appointment Online. View a list of insurance plans accepted at the University of Miami Health System. If your child or teen has a chronic ongoing condition, chronic disease management can help reduce symptoms and flare-ups. Adolescent medicine specialists provide primary health care for youth with chronic conditions. When your child receives regular treatment for chronic disease, it can help improve their quality of life and, in some cases, reduce the impact of the chronic condition on everyday life.

Chronic illness and treatment often interfere with time spent with peers or in the school setting, which is the adolescent's primary social environment. Self-.

Managing Chronic Health Conditions

Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic illness can upend the lives of patients and their families. Everything from daily routines to family dynamics must shift to accommodate a new normal brought on by the illness. Access to the right resources can make facing this challenge a little easier for families and caregivers.

Parents are no strangers to answering tough questions and having difficult conversations—from chats about the birds and bees to drugs and spirituality. And one of the toughest conversations you may ever have with your kids is telling them that they have a chronic medical condition. Looking for words and where to begin? Start with this framework for having this important conversation. Research shows that when parents are calm, and in control of their thoughts and feelings, they are in the best position to communicate effectively with their kids.

Intro music written and performed by Dr. Gene Beresin.

When your child has a serious or chronic illness, it's hard to think beyond the next treatment. While health is the first priority, education also is important. You'll want to help your child stay on top of schoolwork as much as possible and plan for their return to school when the doctor says it's OK. Staying connected to school brings academic, cognitive, psychological, and social benefits. If your child attends private or parochial school, you might consider enrolling in your local district, as services are more readily available in public schools than in private schools. With a little planning and a lot of communication, you can help your child balance treatment with schoolwork.

Some teens and kids live with chronic health conditions ranging from asthma to cerebral palsy. When should teenagers begin to manage their own health? We posed these questions to Dr.

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  1. Tacage

    Rather excellent idea

  2. Kigazahn

    But is it effective?

  3. Jeffery

    Congratulations, you have visited a wonderful idea