Image for child counseling article You have helped your child make adjustments to medicines, diet, and certain lifestyle changes to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). But the greatest challenges he may have to contend with are the social and emotional challenges that come with having a chronic illness.

In particular, your child may be struggling with concerns about being "normal" and fitting in, embarrassment and shame over having IBD, worries about his health, frustration with the restrictions and limitations imposed upon him by the illness, and being rejected or teased by other children. How can you help your child cope?

Your child may be worried about his symptoms, as well as the disease itself. The worst fears may be due to the fact that he does not understand or know enough about his illness. Reassure your child that he is not at fault for his condition. Some signs of difficulty you may see are:

  • Sleeplessness.
  • Poor eating habits.
  • Sadness, frequent crying, loss of interest in activities may indicate signs of depression.

Your child understands a chronic disease must be managed through life, but remind them that IBD does not have to slow them down. Let them know they are not alone and they will live a normal life like other children. Here are some tips to set your child on the right track.