Consider counseling and therapy if there are changes in your child's daily functioning.
You may notice:
- Changes in eating and/or sleeping
- Not wanting to see friends
- Missing or avoiding school
- Grades that are dropping
- Lack of treatment cooperation or medication refusal
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Expressing strong emotions like anger or tearfulness, which can lead to the worsening of symptoms or to poor illness management
- Trouble coping by the child or family members
It may help to talk with your healthcare provider about when and how to seek counseling and therapy.
It also can be helpful to meet with a therapist during the testing or early assessment stage of the child's illness. This allows for family discussion about the illness, to raise your concerns about the possible negative impact on your child and family, and to learn ways to prevent illness-related stress. Sometimes we forget that the mind and the body have to work together if we want to feel better. Interventions such as biofeedback and hypnosis can help children and adolescents master relaxation/breathing techniques and improve their overall self-care so that they can be in better control of their illness. These tools also can help reduce emotionally-triggered symptoms. You may want to talk with your healthcare provider about accessing other services in your community, such as your child's school nurse, the support of a visiting home nurse, or respite care for parents and grandparents.