Crohns Disease and Teenagers


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The teenage years are one of the most influential periods in the life of a young person. According to psychological studies many of the developments that take place during these years will impact upon development throughout the entire lifespan of an individual. Therefore, it is vital that whatever difficulties arise be dealt with in a reasonable manner.

While Crohn’s Disease normally manifests after the teenage years it is not completely uncommon for the disease to show during this period of time. If Crohn’s develops during adolescence it is best that you know how to help your child deal with the disease in the appropriate way.

Teenagers can be particularly cruel to one another. Therefore, a teenager suffering from Crohn’s Disease can be at risk of being singled out by his or her peers and teased about their condition, especially the physical side effects of it. In addition, due to the sometimes sudden flare ups of Crohn’s, the day to day lives of teens can be affected. Sudden urges to go to the bathroom can disrupt the ability to learn in class, enjoy comfortable social development, and contribute to a lack of self-esteem.

Besides the physical symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, many sufferers and especially teens, are vulnerable to depression due to the disease. This is not a physical ramification of Crohn’s, but a mental one. Feeling excluded, damaged, and unable to participate can send teenagers spiraling into a state of depression that can be even more damaging than suffering from the physical symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Furthermore, when a teenager is depressed it does not only affect the mind. Depression leads to a weaker immune system, putting teens at greater risk for developing a host of other illnesses. As it stands, the teenage years are notoriously difficult anyway, adding the unwanted burden of Crohn’s can make them completely insufferable.

It is interesting to note that one of the most commonly prescribed medications for those with Crohn’s is antidepressants. Many teenagers suffering from Crohn’s may not even tell a parent or guardian about their difficulties. Instead, they may simply withdraw into isolation or demonstrate other symptoms of adolescent depression such as anger or rebellion. It is important to try and develop an open relationship with your teenager in order to encourage the trust required to treat both the physical and emotional effects of Crohn’s Disease.

For more information on how to deal with adolescent Crohn’s Disease, you should speak to a mental health practitioner, preferably one that specializes in dealing with children. Remember, the battle with Crohn’s Disease does not only occur on the physical front. The emotional battle between Crohn’s and the teenager needs to be addressed in order for the conflict to be resolved.

Sharon Dobson has an interest in Crohn's Disease. For further information on Crohn's Disease please visit or .


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